Full text of "Gadsby"
7 0071S bSSl
PS3545.R33 G3 1976
Wright, Ernest Vincent,
Gadsby : a story of over
50,000 words without using
the letter "E"
(A Story of Over 50,000 Words \
Without Using the Letter "E" V
ERNEST VINCENT WRIGHT
Wetzel Publishing Co., Inc.
: Los Angeles, California:
WETZEL PUBLISHING CO., INC.
ERNEST VINCENT WRIGHT
The entire manuscript
of this story was written with the E type-bar of
the typewriter tied down ; thus making it impossible
for that letter to be printed. This was done so that
none of that vowel might slip in, accidentally; and
many did try to do so !
There is a great deal of information as to
what Youth can do, if given a chance ; and, though
it starts out in somewhat of an impersonal vein,
there is plenty of thrill, rollicking comedy, love,
courtship, marriage, patriotism, sudden tragedy' a
determined stand against liquor, and some amusing
political aspirations in a small growing town.
In writing such a story, — purposely avoid-
ing all words containing the vowel E, there are a
great many difficulties. The greatest of these is met
in the past tense of verbs, almost all of which end
with " — ed." Therefore substitutes must be found ;
and they are very few. This will cause, at times, a
somewhat monotonous use of such words as "said ;"
for neither "replied," "answered" nor "asked" can
be used. Another difficulty comes with the elimina-
tion of the common couplet "of course," and its very
common connective, "consequently ;" which will, un-
[ 5 ]
G A D S B Y
avoidably cause "bumpy spots." The numerals also
cause plenty of trouble, for none between six and
thirty are available. When introducing young
ladies into the story, this is a real barrier; for what
young woman wants to have it known that she is
over thirty? And this restriction on numbers, of
course taboos all mention of dates.
Many abbreviations also must be avoided;
the most common of all, "Mr." and "Mrs." being
particularly troublesome; for those words, if read
aloud, plainly indicate the E in their orthography.
As the vowel E is used more than five times
of tener than any other letter, this story was written,
not through any attempt to attain literary merit,
but due to a somewhat balky nature, caused by hear-
ing it so constantly claimed that "it can't be done;
for you cannot say anything at all without using E,
and make smooth continuity, with perfectly gram-
matical construction — " so 'twas said.
Many may think that I simply "drop" the
E's, filling the gaps with apostrophes. A perusal of
the book will show that this is not so. All words
used are complete; are correctly spelled and properly
used. This has been accomplished through the use
of synonyms ; and, by so twisting a sentence around
as to avoid ambiguity. The book may prove a valu-
able aid to school children in English composition.
[ 6 ]
People, as a rule, will not stop to realize what
a task such an attempt actually is. As I wrote
along, in long-hand at first, a whole army of little
E's gathered around my desk, all eagerly expecting
to be called upon. But gradually as they saw me
writing on and on, without even noticing them, they
grew uneasy; and, with excited whisperings
amongst themselves, began hopping up and riding
on my pen, looking down constantly for a chance to
drop off into some word ; for all the world like sea-
birds perched, watching for a passing fish! But
when they saw that I had covered 138 pages of
typewriter size paper, they slid off onto the floor,
walking sadly away, arm in arm ; but shouting back :
"You certainly must have a hodge-podge of a yarn
there without Us! Why, man! We are in every
story ever written, hundreds of thousands of times!
This is the first time we ever were shut out !"
Pronouns also caused trouble; for such
words as he, she, they, them, theirs, her, herself, my-
self, himself, yourself, etc., could not be utilized.
But a particularly annoying obstacle comes when,
almost through a long paragraph you can find no
words with which to continue that line of thought;
hence, as in Solitaire, you are "stuck," and must go
way back and start another ; which, of course, must
perfectly fit the preceding context.
[ 7 ]
G A D S B Y
I have received some extremely odd criti-
cisms since the Associated Press widely announced
that such a book was being written. A rapid-talking
New York newspaper columnist wanted to know
how I would get over the plain fact that my name
contains the letter E three times. As an author's
name is not a part of his story, that criticism did
not hold water. And I received one most scathing
epistle from a lady (woman!) denouncing me as a
"genuine fake;" (that paradox being a most inter-
esting one!), and ending by saying; — "Everyone
knows that such a feat is impossible." All right.
Then the impossible has been accomplished ; ( a par-
adox to equal hers!) Other criticism may be
directed at the Introduction; but this section of
a story also is not part of it. The author is
entitled to it, in order properly to explain
his work. The story required five and a half
months of concentrated endeavor, with so many
erasures and retrenchments that I tremble as I think
of them. Of course anybody can write such a story.
All that is needed is a piece of string tied from the
E type-bar down to some part of the base of the
typewriter. Then simply go ahead and type your
story. Incidentally, you should have some sort of a
bromide preparation handy, for use when the going
gets rough, as it most assuredly will !
[ 8 ]
Before the book was in print, I was freely
and openly informed "there is a trick, or catch,"
somewhere in that claim that there is not one letter
E in the entire book, after you leave the Introduc-
tion. Well; it is the privilege of the reader to un-
earth any such deception that he or she may think
they can find. I have even ordered the printer not
to head each chapter with the words "Chapter 2,"
etc., on account of that bothersome E in that word.
In closing let me say that I trust you may
learn to love all the young folks in the story, as
deeply as I have, in introducing them to you. Like
many a book, it grows more and more interesting
as the reader becomes well acquainted with the
Los Angeles, California
[ 9 ]
If Youth, throughout
all history, had had a champion to stand up for it;
to show a doubting world that a child can think;
and, possibly, do it practically; you wouldn't con-
stantly run across folks today who claim that "a
child don't know anything." A child's brain starts
functioning at birth ; and has, amongst its many in-
fant convolutions, thousands of dormant atoms, in-
to which God has put a mystic possibility for notic-
ing an adult's act, and figuring out its purport.
Up to about its primary school days a child
thinks, naturally, only of play. But many a form
of play contains disciplinary ^actors. "You can't do
this," or "that puts you out," shows a child that it
must think, practically, or fail. Now, if, through-
out childhood, a brain has no opposition, it is plain
that it will attain a position of "status quo," as with
our ordinary animals. Man knows not why a cow,
dog or lion was not born with a brain on a par with
ours; why such animals cannot add, subtract, or
obtain from books and schooling, that paramount
position which Man holds today.
But a human brain is not in that class. Con-
stantly throbbing and pulsating, it rapidly forms
t 10 ]
G A D S B Y
opinions; attaining an ability of its own; a fact
which is startlingly shown by an occasional child
"prodigy" in music or school work. And as, with
our dumb animals, a child's inability convincingly
to impart its thoughts to us, should not class it as
Upon this basis I am going to show you how
a bunch of bright young folks did find a champion ;
a man with boys and girls of his own ; a man of so
dominating and happy individuality that Youth is
drawn to him as is a fly to a suga- bowl. It is a
story about a small town. It is not a gossipy yarn ;
nor is it a dry, monotonous account, full of such cus-
tomary "fill-ins" as "romantic moonlight casting
murky shadows down a long, winding country
road." Nor will it 2 say anything about tinklings
lulling distant folds; robins carolling at twilight,
nor any "warm glow of lamplight" from a cabin
window. No. It is an account of up-and-doing
activity; a vivid portrayal of Youth as it is today;
and a practical discarding of that worn-out notion
that "a child don't know anything."
Now, any author, from history's dawn,
always had that most important aid to writing: —
an ability to call upon any word in his dictionary in
tjuilding up his story. That is, our strict laws as to
ord construction did not block his path. But in
[ 11 ]
G A D S B Y
my story that mighty obstruction will constantly
stand in my path ; for many an important, common
word I cannot adopt, owing to its orthography.
I shall act as a sort of historian for this small
town; associating with its inhabitants, and striving
to acquaint you with its youths, in such a way that
you can look, knowingly, upon any child, rich or
poor; forward or "backward;" your own, or John
Smith's, in your community. You will find many
young minds aspiring to know how, and WHY such
a thing is so. And, if a child shows curiosity in that
way, how ridiculous it is for you to snap out ; —
"Oh! Don't ask about things too old for
Such a jolt to a young child's mind, craving
instruction, is apt so to dull its avidity, as to hold it
back in its school work. Try to look upon a child
as a small, soft young body and a rapidly growing,
constantly inquiring brain. It must grow to matur-
ity slowly. Forcing a child through school by con-
stant night study during hours in which it should
run and play, can bring on insomnia; handicap-
ping both brain and body.
Now this small town in our story had grown
in just that way ; — slowly ; in fact, much too slowly
to stand on a par with many a thousand of its kind
in this big, vigorous nation of ours. It was simply
[ 12 ]
G A D S B Y
stagnating ; just as a small mountain brook, coming
to a hollow, might stop, and sink from sight,
through not having a will to find a way through that
obstruction ; or around it. You will run across such
a dormant town, occasionally; possibly so dormant
that only outright isolation by a fast-moving world,
will show it its folly. If you will tour Asia, Yuca-
tan, or parts of Africa and Italy, you will find many
sad ruins of past kingdoms. Go to Indo-China and
visit its gigantic Ankhor Vat; call at Damascus,
Baghdad and Samarkand. What sorrowful lack of
ambition many such a community shows in thus dis-
carding such high-class construction! And I say,
again, that so will Youth grow dormant, and hold
this big, throbbing world back, if no champion backs
it up ; thus providing it with an opportunity to show
its ability for looking forward, and improving un-
So this small town of Branton Hills was
lazily snoozing amidst up-and-doing towns, as
Youth's Champion, John Gadsby, took hold of it;
and shook its dawdling, flabby body until its inhabi-
tants thought a tornado had struck it. Call it tor-
nado, volcano, military onslaught, or what you will,
this town found that it had a bunch of kids who had
wills that would admit of no snoozing ; for that is
[ 13 ]
G A D S B Y
Youth, on its forward march of inquiry, thought
If you stop to think of it, you will find that
it is customary for our "grown-up" brain to cast off
many of its functions of its youth ; and to think only
of what it calls "topics of maturity." Amongst such
discards, is many a form of happy play ; many a
muscular activity such as walking, running, climb-
ing; thus totally missing that alluring "joy of liv-
ing" of childhood. If you wish a vacation from fi-
nancial affairs, just go out and play with Youth.
Play "blind-man's buff," "hop-scotch," "ring toss,"
and football. Go out to a charming woodland spot on
a picnic with a bright, happy, vivacious group. Sit
down at a corn roast; a marshmallow toast; join in
singing popular songs ; drink a quart of good, rich
milk ; burrow into that big lunch box ; and all such
things as banks, stocks, and family bills, will vanish
on fairy wings, into oblivion.
But this is not a claim that Man should stay
always youthful. Supposing that that famous
Spaniard, landing upon Florida's coral strands, had
found that mythical Fountain of Youth; what a
calamity for mankind ! A world without maturity of
thought ; without man's full-grown muscular ability
to construct mighty buildings, railroads and ships ; a
world without authors, doctors, savants, musicians ;
[ 14 ]
G A D S B Y
nothing but Youth ! I can think of but a solitary ap-
proval of such a condition; for such a horror as
war would not, — could not occur; for a child is,
naturally, a small bunch of sympathy. I know that
boys will "scrap;" also that "spats" will occur
amongst girls; but, at such a monstrosity as
killings by bombing towns, sinking ships, or mass
annihilation of marching troops, childhood would
stand aghast. Not a tiny bird would fall; nor would
any form of gun nor facility for manufacturing it,
insult that almost Holy purity of youthful thought.
Anybody who knows that wracking sorrow brought
upon a child by a dying puppy or cat, knows that
childhood can show us that our fighting, our policy
of " a tooth for a tooth," is abominably wrong.
So, now to start our story ; —
Branton Hills was a small town in a rich ag-
ricultural district ; and having many a possibility for
growth. But, through a sort of smug satisfaction
with conditions of long ago, had no thought of im-
proving such important adjuncts as roads; putting
up public buildings, nor laying out parks; in fact a
dormant, slowly dying community. So satisfactory
was its status that it had no form of transportation
to surrounding towns but by railroad, or "old Dob-
Jln." Now, any town thus isolating its inhabitants,
fill invariably find this big, busy world passing it
[ 15 ]
G A D S B Y
by ; glancing at it, curiously, as at an odd animal at a
circus; and, you will find, caring not a whit about
its condition. Naturally, a town should grow. You
can look upon it as a child ; which, through natural
conditions, should attain manhood; and add to its
surrounding thriving districts its products of farm,
shop, or factory. It should show a spirit of associ-
ation with surrounding towns ; crawl out of its lair,
and find how backward it is.
Now, in all such towns, you will find, occa-
sionally, an individual born with that sort of brain
which, knowing that his town is backward, longs to
start things toward improving it ; not only its living
conditions, but adding an institution or two, such as
any city, big or small, maintains, gratis, for its in-
habitants. But so forward looking a man finds that
trying to instill any such notions into a town's ruling
body is about as satisfactory as butting against a
brick wall. Such "Boards" as you find ruling many
a small town, function from such a soporific rut that
any hint of digging cash from its cast iron strong
box with its big brass padlock, will fall upon minds
as rigid as rock.
Branton Hills had such a man, to whom
such rigidity was as annoying as a thorn in his foot.
Continuous trials brought only continual thorn -
pricks; until, finally, a brilliant plan took form as
[ 16 ]
G A D S B Y
John Gadsby found Branton Hills' High School
pupils waking up to Branton Hills' sloth. Gadsby
continually found this bright young bunch asking: —
"Aw ! Why is this town so slow ? It's noth-
ing but a dry twig ! !"
"Ha !" said Gadsby ; "A dry twig ! That's it !
Many a living, blossoming branch all around us, and
this solitary dry twig, with a tag hanging from it,
on which you will find : 'Branton Hills ; A twig too
lazy to grow !' "
Now this put a "hunch" in Gadsby's brain,
causing him to say ; " A High School pupil is not a
child, now. Naturally a High School boy has not a
man's qualifications; nor has a High School girl
womanly maturity. But such kids, born in this
swiftly moving day, think out many a notion which
will work, but which would pass our dads and
granddads in cold disdain. Just as ships pass at
night. But supposing that such ships should show
a light in passing ; or blow a horn ; or, if — if — if —
By Golly! I'll do it!"
And so Gadsby sat on his blossom-bound
porch on a mild Spring morning, thinking and smok-
ing. Smoking can calm a man down; and his
thoughts had so long and so constantly clung to this
plan of his that a cool outlook as to its promulga-
tion was not only important, but paramount. So, as
[ 17 ]
G A D S B Y
his cigar was whirling and puffing rings aloft ; and
as groups of bright, happy boys and girls trod past,
to school, his plan rapidly took form as follows : —
"Youth! What is it? Simply a start. A
start of what ? Why, of that most astot nding of all
human functions; thought. But man didn't start
his brain working. No. All that an adult can claim
is a continuation, or an amplification of thoughts,
dormant in his youth. Although a child's brain can
absorb instruction with an ability far surpassing
that of a grown man; and, although such a young
brain is bound by rigid limits, it contains a capacity
for constantly craving additional facts. So, in our
backward Branton Hills, I just know that I can find
boys and girls who can show our old moss-back
Town Hall big-wigs a thing or two. Why! On
Town Hall night, just go and sit in that room and
find out just how stupid and stubborn a Council,
(put into Town Hall, you know, through popular
ballot!), can act. Say that a road is badly worn,
Shall it stay so? Up jumps Old Bill Simpkins
claiming that it is a townsman's duty to fix up his
wagon springs if that road is too rough for him !"
As Gadsby sat thinking thus, his plan was
rapidly growing; and, in a month, was actuall)
starting to work. How ? You'll know shortly ; but
first, you should know this John Gadsby ; a man oi
[ 18 ]
G A D S B Y
"around fifty;" a family man, and known through-
out Brai'ton Hills for his high standard of honor
an d altruism on any kind of an occasion for public
good. A loyal churchman, Gadsby was a man who,
though admitting that an occasional fault in our
daily acts is bound to occur, had taught his two boys
and a pail' of girls that, though folks do slip from
what Scriptural authors call that "straight and nar-
row path," it will not pay to risk your own Soul by
slipping, just so that you can laugh at your ability in
staying out of prison; for Gadsby, having grown
up in Branton Hills, could point to many such man
or woman. So, with such firm convictions in his
mind, this upstanding man was constantly striving
so to act that no complaint from man, woman or
child should bring a word of disapproval. In his
mind, what a man might do was that man's affair
only and could stain no Soul but his own. And his
altruism taught that it is not difficult to find many
ways in which to bring joy to such as cannot,
through physical disability, go out to look for it ; and
that only a small bit of joy, brought to a shut-in in-
valid will carry with it such a warmth as can flow
only from acts of human sympathy.
For many days Gadsby had thought of ways
in which folks with a goodly bank account could aid
in building up this rapidly backsliding town of
G A D S B Y
Branton Hills. But, how to show that class what a
contribution could do? In this town, full of capital-
ists and philanthropists contributing, off and on, for
shipping warming pans to Zulus, Gadsby saw a so-
lution. In whom? Why, in just that bunch of bright,
happy school kids, back from many a visit to a city,
and noting its ability in improving its living condi-
tions. So Gadsby thought of thus carrying an ink-
ling to such capitalists as to how this stagnating
town could claim a big spot upon our national map,
which is now shown only in small, insignificant
As a start, Branton Hills' "Daily Post"
would carry a long story, outlining a list of factors
for improving conditions. This it did; but it wil
always stay as a blot upon high minds and prouc
blood that not a man or woman amongst such capi-
talists saw, in his plan, any call for dormant funds.
But did that stop Gadsby? Can you stop a rising
wind ? Hardly ! So Gadsby took into council about
forty boys of his vicinity and built up an Organiza-
tion of Youth. Also about as many girls who hac
known what it is, compulsorily to pass up many
picnic, or various forms of sport, through a lack of
public park land. So this strong, vigorous combina-
tion of both youth and untiring activity, avidly took
up Gadsby's plan ; for nothing so stirs up a youthf u
G A D iS BY
mind as an opportunity for accomplishing anything
that adults cannot do. And did Gadsby know
Youth ? I'll say so ! His two sons and girls, now in
High or Grammar school, had taught him a thing or
two; principal amongst which was that all-dominat-
ing fact that, at a not too far distant day, our young
folks will occupy important vocational and also po-
litical positions, and will look back upon this, our
day ; smiling kindly at our way of doing things. So,
to say that many a Branton Hills "King of Capital"
got a bit huffy as a High School stripling was prov-
ing how stubborn a rich man is if his dollars don't
aid so vast an opportunity for doing good, would
put it mildly! Such downright gall by a half-
grown kid to inform him; an outstanding light on
Branton Hills' tax list, that this town was sliding
down hill; and would soon land in an abyss of na-
tional oblivion ! And our Organization girls ! How
Branton Hills' rich old widows and plump matrons
did sniff in disdain as a group of High School pupils
brought forth straightforward claims that cash
paving a road, is doing good practical work, but,
in filling up a strong box, is worth nothing to our
Oh, that class of nabobs ! How thoroughly
Gadsby did know its parsimony ! ! And how thor-
oughly did this hard-planning man know just what
[ 21 ]
G A D S B Y
a constant onslaught by Youth could do. So, in
about a month, his "Organization" had "waylaid,"
so to say, practically half of Branton Hills' cash
kings ; and had so won out, through that commonly
known "pull" upon an adult by a child asking for
what plainly is worthy, that his mail brought not
only cash, but two rich landlords put at his disposal,
tracts of land "for any form of occupancy which
can, in any way, aid our town." This land Gadsby's
Organization promptly put into growing farm prod-
ucts for gratis distribution to Branton Hills' poor;
and that burning craving of Youth for activity
soon had it sprouting corn, squash, potato, onion and
asparagus crops ; and, to "doll it up a bit," put in a
patch of blossoming plants.
Naturally any man is happy at a satisfactory
culmination of his plans and so, as Gadsby found
that public philanthropy was but an affair of plain,
ordinary approach, it did not call for much brain
work to find that, possibly also, a way might turn
up for putting handicraft instruction in Branton
Hills' schools; for schooling, according to him, die
not consist only of books and black-boards. Hands
also should know how to construct various practica
things in woodwork, plumbing, blacksmithing, ma-
sonry, and so forth; with thorough instruction in
sanitation, and that most important of all youthfu
[ 22 ]
G A D S B Y
activity, gymnastics. For girls such a school could
instruct in cooking, suit making, hat making, fancy
work, art and loom-work ; in fact, about any handi-
craft that a girl might wish to study, and which is
n ot in our standard school curriculum. But as
Gadsby thought of such a school, no way for back-
ing it financially was in sight. Town funds naturally,
should carry it along; but town funds and Town
Councils do not always form what you might call
synonymous words. So it was compulsory that cash
should actually "drop into his lap," via a continua-
tion of solicitations by his now grandly functioning
Organization of Youth. So, out again trod that
bunch of bright, happy kids, putting forth such
plain, straightforward facts as to what Manual
Training would do for Branton Hills, that many
saw it in that light. But you will always find a
group, or individual complaining that such things
would "automatically dawn" on boys and girls
without any training. Old Bill Simpkins was loud
in his antagonism to what was a "crazy plan to dip
into our town funds just to allow boys to saw up
good wood, and girls to burn up good flour, trying
to cook biscuits." Kids, according to him, should
go to work in Branton Hills' shopping district, and
profit by it.
"Bah ! Why not start a class to show goldfish
G A D S B Y
how to waltz ! / didn't go to any such school ; and
what am I now? A Councilman! I can't saw
a board straight, nor fry a potato chip; but I can
show you folks how to hang onto your town funds."
Old Bill was a notorious grouch ; but our Or-
ganization occasionally did find a totally varying
mood. Old Lady Flanagan, with four boys in
school, and a husband many days too drunk to work,
was loud in approval.
"Whoops! Thot's phwat I calls a grand
thing ! Worra, worra ! I wish Old Man Flanagan
had had sich an opporchunity. But thot ignorant
old clod don't know nuthin' but boozin', tobacca
shmokin' and ditch-diggin'. And you know thot our
Council ain't a-payin' for no ditch-scoopin' right
now. So /'// shout for thot school! For my boys
can find out how to fix thot barn door our old cow
laid down against."
Ha, ha! What a circus our Organization
had with such varying moods and outlooks! But,
finally such a school was built; instructors brought
in from surrounding towns; and Gadsby was as
happy as a cat with a bah of yarn.
As Branton Hills found out what it can ac-
complish if it starts out with vigor and a will to win,
our Organization thought of laying out a big park;
furnishing an opportunity for small tots to romp
[ 24 ]
G A D S B Y
and play on grassy plots; a park for all sorts of
sports, picnics, and so forth; sand lots for baby-
hood; cozy arbors for girls who might wish to
study, or talk. (You might, possibly, find a girl
who can talk, you know!); also shady nooks and
winding paths for old folks who might find comfort
in such. Gadsby thought that a park is truly a most
important adjunct to any community ; for, if a grow-
ing population has no out-door spot at which its
glooms, slumps and morbid thoughts can vanish
upon wings of sunlight, amidst bright colorings of
shrubs and sky, it may sink into a grouchy, fault-
finding, squabbling group ; and making such a show-
ing for surrounding towns as to hold back any gain
in population or valuation. Gadsby had a goodly
plot of land in a grand location for a park and sold
it to Branton Hills for a dollar ; that stingy Council
to lay it out according to his plans. And how his
Organization did applaud him for this, his first "solo
But schools and parks do not fulfill all of a
town's calls. Many minds of varying kinds will long
for an opportunity for finding out things not ordi-
narily taught in school. So Branton Hills' Public Li-
brary was found too small. As it was now in a
small back room in our High School, it should oc-
cupy its own building; down town, and handy for
[ 25 ]
G A D S B Y
all; and with additional thousands of books and
maps. Now, if you think Gadsby and his youthful
assistants stood aghast at such a gigantic proposi-
tion, you just don't know Youth, as it is today. But
to whom could Youth look for so big an outlay as a
library building would cost? Books also cost; li-
brarians and janitors draw pay. So, with light,
warmth, and all-round comforts, it was a task to
stump a full-grown politician; to say nothing of a
plain, ordinary townsman and a bunch of kids. So
Gadsby thought of taking two bright boys and two
smart girls to Washington, to call upon a man in a
high position, who had got it through Branton Hills'
popular ballot. Now, any politician is a convincing
orator. (That is, you know, all that politics consists
of !) ; and this big man, in contact with a visiting
capitalist, looking for a handout for his own dis-
trict, got a donation of a thousand dollars. But that
wouldn't start a public library; to say nothing of
maintaining it. So, back in Branton Hills, again,
our Organization was out, as usual, on its war-path.
Branton Hills' philanthropy was now show-
ing signs of monotony; so our Organization had to
work its linguistic ability and captivating tricks full
blast, until that thousand dollars had so grown that
a library was built upon a vacant lot which had
grown nothing but grass; and only a poor quality
[ 26 ]
G A D S B Y
of it, at that; and many a child and adult quickly
found ways of profitably passing odd hours.
Naturally Old Bill. Simpkins was snooping
around, sniffing and snorting at any signs of making
Branton Hills "look cityish," (a word originating
in Bill's vocabulary.)
"Huh ! ! / didn't put in any foolish hours with
books in my happy childhood in this good old town !
But I got along all right; and am now having my
say in its Town Hall doing^s. Books ! ! Pooh ! Maps !
BAH ! ! It's silly to squat in a hot room squinting
at a lot of print ! If you want to know about a thing,
go to work in a shop or factory of that kind, and
find out about it first-hand."
"But, Bill," said Gadsby, "shops want a man
who knows what to do without having to stop to
"Oh, that's all bosh ! If a boss shows a man
what a tool is for; and if that man is any good, at
all, why bring up this stuff you call training? That
man grabs a tool, works 'til noon ; knocks off for an
hour ; works 'til "
At this point in Bill's blow-up an Italian
Councilman was passing, and put in his oar, with : —
"Ha, Bill ! You thinka your man can worka
all right, firsta day, huh ? You talka crazy so much
as a fool ! I laugha tinkin' of you startin' on a patcha
[ 27 ]
G A D S B Y
for my boota ! You lasta just a half hour. Thisa
library all righta. This town too mucha what I call
Oh, hum ! ! It's a tough job making old dogs
do tricks. But our Organization was now holding
almost daily sittings, and soon a bright girl thought
of having band music in that now popular park.
And what do you think that stingy Council did ? It
actually built a most fantastic band-stand; got a
contract with a first-class, band, and all without so
much as a Councilman fainting away ! ! So, finally,
on a hot July Sunday, two solid hours of grand har-
mony brought joy to many a poor Soul who had not
for many a day, known that balm of comfort which
can "air out our brains' dusty corridors," and bring
such happy thrills, as Music, that charming Fairy,
which knows no human words, can bring. Around
that gaudy band-stand, at two-thirty on that first
Sunday, sat or stood as happy a throng of old and
young as any man could wish for ; and Gadsby and
his "gang" got hand-clasps and hand-claps, from all.
A good band, you know, not only can stir and thrill
you ; for it can play a soft crooning lullaby, a lilting
waltz or polka ; or, with its wood winds, bring forth
old songs of our childhood, ballads of courting days,
or hymns and carols of Christmas; and can suit all
[ 28 ]
sorts of folks, in all sorts of moods ; for a Spaniard,
Dutchman or Russian can find similar joy with a
inan from Itary, Norway or far away Brazil.
By now, Branton Hills
was so proud of not only its "smarting up," but also
of its startling growth, on that account, that an ap-
plication was put forth for its incorporation as a
city; a small city, naturally, but full of that condi-
tion of Youth, known as "growing pains." So its
shabby old "Town Hall" sign was thrown away, and
a black and gold onyx slab, with "City Hall"
blazing forth in vivid colors, put up, amidst band
music, flag waving, parading and oratory. In only
a month from that glorious day, Gadsby found folks
"primping up": girls putting on bright ribbons;
boys finding that suits could stand a good ironing;
and rich widows and portly matrons almost out-
doing any rainbow in brilliancy. An occasional shop
along Broadway, which had a rattly door or shaky
windows was put into first class condition, to fit
Branton Hills' status as a city. Old Bill Simpkins
was strutting around, as pompous as a drum-major ;
for, now, that old Town Council would function as
a CITY council; HIS council! His own stamping
ground ! According to him, from it, at no far day,
"Bill Simpkins, City Councilman," would show an
[ 30 ]
G A D S B Y
anxiously waiting world how to run a city ; though
probably, I think, how not to run it.
It is truly surprising what a narrow mind,
what a blind outlook a man, brought up with prac-
tically no opposition to his boyhood wants, can at-
tain ; though brought into contact with indisputably
important data for improving his city. Our Organ-
ization boys thought Bill "a bit off;" but Gadsby
would only laugh at his blasts against paying out
city funds; for, you know, all bombs don't burst;
you occasionally find a "dud."
But this furor for fixing up rattly doors or
shaky windows didn't last; for Old Bill's oratory
found favor with a bunch of his old tight-wads, who
actually thought of inaugurating a campaign
against Gadsby's Organization of Youth. As soon
as this was known about town, that mythical pot,
known as Public Opinion, was boiling furiously. A
vast majority stood back of Gadsby and his kids;
so, old Bill's ranks could count only on a small group
of rich old Shylocks to whom a bank-book was a
thing to look into or talk about only annually ; that
is, on bank-balancing days. This small minority
got up a slogan : — "Why Spoil a Good Old Town ?"
and actually did, off and on, talk a shopman out of
fixing up his shop or grounds. This, you know, put
additional vigor into our Organization ; inspiring a
[ 31 ]
G A D S B Y
boy to bring up a plan for calling a month, — say
July, — "pick-up, paint-up and wash-up month ;" for
it was a plain fact that, all about town, was many a
shabby spot; a lot of buildings could stand a good
coat of paint, and yards raking up; thus showing
surrounding towns that not only could Branton
Hills "doll up," but had a class of inhabitants who
gladly would go at such a plan, and carry it through.
So Gadsby got his "gang" out, to sally forth and
any man or woman who did not jump, at first, at
such a plan by vigorous Youth, was always brought
around, through noticing how poorly a shabby yard
did look. So Gadsby put in Branton Hills' "Post"
this stirring call : —
"Raking up your yard or painting your build-
ing is simply improving it both in worth; ar "stically
and from a utilization standpoint. I know that
many a city front lawn is small ; but, if it is only
fairly big, a walk, cut curvingly, will add to it, sur-
prisingly. That part of a walk which runs to your
front door could show rows of small rocks rough
and natural; and grading from small to big; but
no 'hit-or-miss' layout. You can so fix up your yard
as to form an approach to unity in plan with such
as adjoin you; though without actual duplication;
thus providing harmony for all who may pass by.
[ 32 ]
G A D S B Y
It is, in fact, but a bit of City Planning; and any-
body who aids in such work is a most worthy inhab-
itant. So, cut your scraggly lawns! Trim your
old, shaggy shrubs ! Bring into artistic form, your
(Now, naturally, in writing such a story as this,
with its conditions as laid down in its Introduction,
it is not surprising that an occasional "rough spot"
in composition is found. So I trust that a critical
public will hold constantly in mind that I am volun-
tarily avoiding words containing that symbol which
is, by far, of most common inclusion in writing
our Anglo-Saxon as it is, today. Many of our most
common words cannot show; so I must adopt syno-
nyms; a*-d so twist a thought around as to say what
I wish'' ith as much clarity as I can.)
So, now to go on with this odd contraption :
By Autumn, a man who took his vacation in
July, would hardly know his town upon coming back ,
so thoroughly had thousands "dug in" to aid in its
"Boys," said Gadsby, "you can pat your own
backs, if you can't find anybody to do it for you.
This city is proud of you. And, girls, just sing
with joy ; for not only is your city proud of you, but
I am. too."
[ 33 ]
G A D S B Y
"But how about you, sir, and your work?"
This was from Frank; a boy brought up to
think fairly on all things. "Oh," said Gadsby laugh-
ingly, "I didn't do much of anything but boss you
young folks around. If our Council awards any
diplomas, I don't want any. I would look ridicu-
lous strutting around with a diploma with a pink
ribbon on it, now wouldn't I !"
This talk of diplomas was as a bolt from a
bright sky to this young, hustling bunch. But,
though Gadsby's words did sound as though a
grown man wouldn't want such a thing, that wasn't
saying that a young boy or girl wouldn't ; and with
this surprising possibility ranking in young minds,
many a kid was in an anti-soporific condition for
parts of many a night.
But a kindly Councilman actually did bring
up a bill about this diploma affair, and his
collaborators put it through; which naturally
brought up talk as how to award such diplomas.
At last it was thought that a big public affair at
City Hall, with our Organization on a platform,
with Branton Hills' Mayor and Council, would
furnish an all-round, satisfactory way.
Such an occasion was worthy of a lot of
planning; and a first thought was for flags and
[ 34 ]
G A D S B Y
bunting on all public buildings ; with a grand illum-
ination at night. Stationary lights should glow from
all points on which a light could stand, hang, or
swing; and gigantic rays should swoop and swish
across clouds and sky. Bands should play ; boys and
girls march and sing; and a vast crowd would pour
into City Hall. As on similar occasions, a bad rush
for chairs was apt to occur, a company of military
units should occupy all important points, to hold
back anything simulating a jam.
Now, if you think our Organization wasn't
all agog and wild, with youthful anticipation at hav-
ing a diploma for work out of school hours, you
just don't know Youth. Boys and girls, though not
full grown inhabitants of a city, do know what will
add to its popularity; and having had a part in
bringing about such conditions, it was but natural
to look back upon such, as any military man might
at winning a difficult fight.
So, finally our big day was at hand! That
it might not cut into school hours, it was on a Satur-
day; and, by noon, about a thousand kids, singing,
shouting and waving flags, stood in formation at
City Park, awaiting, with growing thrills, a signal
which would start as big a turn-out as Branton Hills
had known in all its history. Up at City Hall
[ 35 ]
G A D S B Y
awaiting arrivals of city officials, a big crowd sat;
row upon row of chairs which not only took up all
floor room, but also many a small spot, in door-way
or on a balcony in which a chair or stool could find
footing; and all who could not find such an oppor-
tunity willingly stood in back. Just as a group of
officials sat down on that flag-bound platform, dis-
tant throbbing of drums, and bright, snappy band
music told of Branton Hills' approaching thousands
of kids, who, finally marching in through City Hall's
main door, stood in a solid mass around that big
Naturally Gadsby had to put his satisfaction
into words; and, advancing to a mahogany stand,
stood waiting for a storm of hand-clapping and
shouts to quit, and said : —
"Your Honor, Mayor of Branton Hills, its
Council, and all you out in front: — If you would
only stop rating a child's ability by your own; and
try to find out just what ability a child has, our
young folks throughout this big world would show a
surprisingly willing disposition to try things which
would bring your approbation. A child's brain is
an astonishing thing. It has, in its construction, an J
astounding capacity for absorbing what is brought (
to it ; and not only to think about, but to find ways I
[ 36 ]
G A D S B Y
for improving it. It is today's child who, tomorrow,
will, you know, laugh at our ways of doing things.
So, in putting across this campaign of building up
our community into a municipality which has won
acclaim, not only from its officials and inhabitants,
but from surrounding towns I found, in our young
folks, an out-and-out inclination to assist ; and you,
today, can look upon it as labor in which your adult
aid was but a small factor. So now, my Organiza-
tion of Youth, if you will pass across this platform,
your Mayor will hand you your diplomas."
Not in all Branton Hills' history had any boy
or girl known such a thrill as upon winning that
hard-won roll ! And from solid banks of humanity
roars of congratulation burst forth. As soon as
Mayor Brown shook hands (and such tiny, warm,
soft young hands, too!) with all, a big out-door
lunch was found waiting on a charming lawn back
of City Hall ; and this was no World War mobili-
zation lunch of doughnuts and a hot dog sand-
wich ; but, as two of Gadsby's sons said, was "an all-
round, good, big fill-up;" and many a boy's and
girl's "tummy" was soon as round and taut as a
As twilight was turning to dusk, boys in an
adjoining lot shot skyward a crashing bomb, an-
[ 37 ]
G A D S B Y
nouncing a grand illumination as a fitting climax
for so glorious a day; and thousands sat on rock-
walls, grassy knolls, in cars or at windows, with a
big crowd standing along curbs and crosswalks.
Myriads of lights of all colors, in solid balls, sprays,
sparkling fountains, and bursts of glory, shot, in
criss-cross paths, up and down, back and forth,
across a star-lit sky ; providing a display without a
par in local annals.
But not only did Youth thrill at so fantastic
a show. Adults had many a Fourth of July brought
back from a distant past ; in which our national cus-
tom wound up our most important holiday with a
similar display; only, in our Fourths of long ago,
horrifying, gigantic concussions would disturb old
folks and invalids until midnight; at which hour,
according to law, all such carrying-on must stop.
But did it ? Possibly in your town, but not around
my district ! All Fourth of July outfits don't always
function at first, you know; and no kid, (or adult!)
would think of quitting until that last pop should
pop ; or that last bang should bang. And so, many
a dawn on July fifth found things still going, full
t 38 ]
Youth cannot stay for
long in a condition of inactivity; and so, for only
about a month did things so stand, until a particu-
larly bright girl in our Organization, thought out a
plan for caring for infants of folks who had to go
out, to work; and this bright kid soon had a group
of girls who would join, during vacation, in volun-
tarily giving up four days a month to such work.
With about fifty girls collaborating, all districts had
this most gracious aid; and a girl would not only
watch and guard, but would also instruct, as far as
practical, any such tot as had not had its first school-
ing. Such work by young girls still in school was a
grand thing; and Gadsby not only stood up for
such loyalty, but got at his boys to find a similar
plan ; and soon had a full troop of Boy Scouts ; uni-
forms and all. This automatically brought about
a Girl Scout unit; and, through a collaboration of
both, a form of club sprang up. It was a club in
which any boy or girl of a family owning a car
would call mornings for pupils having no cars, dur-
ing school days, for a trip to school and back. This
was not only a saving in long walks for many, but
[ 39 ]
G A D S B Y
also took from a young back, that hard, tiring strain
from lugging such armfuls of books as you find
pupils laboriously carrying, today. Upon arriving
at a school building, many cars would unload so
many books that Gadsby said : —
"You would think that a Public Library
branch was moving in !" This car work soon
brought up a thought of giving similar aid to ailing
adults; who, not owning a car, could not know of
that vast display of hill and plain so common to a
majority of our townsfolks. So a plan was laid, by
which a car would call two days a month; and for
an hour or so, follow roads winding out of town
and through woods, farm lands and suburbs ; show-
ing distant ponds, and that grand arch of sky which
"shut-ins" know only from photographs. Ah;
how that plan did stir up joyous anticipation
amongst such as thus had an opportunity to call
upon old, loving pals, and talk of old customs and
past days ! Occasionally such a talk would last so
long that a youthful motorist, waiting dutifully at a
curb, thought that a full family history of both host
and visitor was up for an airing. But old folks
always will talk and it will not do a boy or girl any
harm to wait ; for, you know, that boy or girl will
act in just that way, at a not too far-off day !
[ 40 ]
G A D S B Y
But, popular as this touring plan was, it had
to stop ; for school again took all young folks from
such out-door activity. Nobody was so sorry at this
aS Gadsby, for though Branton Hills' suburban
country is glorious from March to August, it is also
strong in its attractions throughout Autumn, with
its artistic colorings of fruits, pumpkins, corn-
shocks, hay-stacks and Fall blossoms. So Gadsby
got a big motor-coach company to run a bus a day,
carrying, gratis, all poor or sickly folks who had a
doctor's affidavit that such an outing would aid in
curing ills arising from too constant in-door living ;
and so, up almost to Thanksgiving, this big coach
As Spring got around again, this "man-of-
all-work" thought of driving away a shut-in inval-
id's monotony by having musicians go to such
rooms, to play ; or, by taking along a vocalist or trio,
sing such old songs as always bring back happy
days. This work Gadsby thought of paying for
by putting on a circus. And was it a circus? It
was!! It had boys forming both front and hind
limbs of animals totally unknown to zoology; girls
strutting around as gigantic birds of also doubtful
origin; an array of small living animals such as
trick dogs and goats, a dancing pony, a group of im-
[ 41 ]
G A D S B Y
itation Indians, cowboys, cowgirls, a kicking trick
jack-ass; and, talk about clowns! Forty boys got
into baggy pantaloons and fools' caps; and no cir-
cus, including that first of all shows in Noah's Ark,
had so much going on. Gymnasts from our school
gymnasium, tumbling, jumping and racing; comic
dancing; a clown band; high-swinging artists, and
a funny cop who didn't wait to find out who a man
was, but hit him anyway. And, as no circus is a
circus without boys shouting wildly about pop-corn
and cold drinks, Gadsby saw to it that such boys got
in as many patrons' way as any ambitious youth
could ; and that is "going strong," if you know boys,
But what about profits ? It not only paid for
all acts which his Organization couldn't put on, but
it was found that a big fund for man) a day's musi-
cal visitations, was on hand.
And, now a word or two about municipal af-
fairs in this city ; or any city, in which nobody will
think of doing anything about its poor and sick,
without a vigorous prodding up. City Councils,
now-a-days, willingly grant big appropriations for
paving, lights, schools, jails, courts, and so on ; but
invariably fight shy of charity; which is nothing
but sympathy for anybody who is "down and out."
G A D S B Y
jsjo man can say that Charity will not, during com-
ing days, aid him in supporting his family; and it
wa s Gadsby's claim that humans: — not blocks
of buildings, form what Mankind calls a city.
But what would big, costly buildings amount
to, if all who work in such cannot maintain
that good physical condition paramount in carrying
on a city's various forms of labor? And not only
physical good, but also a mind happy from lack of
worry and of that stagnation which always follows
a monotonous daily grind. So our Organization
was soon out again, agitating City Officials and
civilians toward building a big Auditorium in which
all kinds of shows and sports could occur, with also
a swimming pool and hot and cold baths. Such
a building cannot so much as start without financial
backing; but gradually many an iron-bound bank ac-
count was drawn upon (much as you pull a tooth !),
to buy bonds. Also, such a building won't grow up in
a night ; nor was a spot upon which to put it found
without a lot of agitation; many wanting it in a
down-town district; and also, many who had vacant
land put forth all sorts of claims to obtain cash for
lots upon which a big tax was paid annually, with-
out profits. But all such things automatically turn
out satisfactorily to a majority; though an ugly,
[ 43 ]
G A D S B Y
grasping landlord who lost out, would viciously
squawk that "municipal graft" was against him.
Now Gadsby was vigorously against graft;
not only in city affairs but in any kind of transac-
tion; and that stab brought forth such a flow of
oratory from him, that as voting for Mayor was
soon to occur, it, and a long list of good works, soon
had him up for that position. But Gadsby didn't
want such a nomination; still, thousands of towns-
folks who had known him from childhood, would
not hark to anything but his candidacy; and, soon,
on window cards, signs, and flags across Broadway,
was his photograph and "Gadsby for May-
or;" and a campaign was on which still rings in
Branton Hills' history as "hot stuff !" Four aspir-
ing politicians ran in opposition; and, as all had
good backing, and Gadsby only his public works to
fall back on, things soon got looking gloomy for
him. His antagonists, standing upon soap box, auto
truck, or hastily built platforms, put forth, with
prodigious vim, claims that "our fair city will go
back to its original oblivion if / am not its Mayor !"
But our Organization now took a hand, most of
which, now out of High School, was growing up
rapidly; and anybody who knows anything at all
about Branton Hills' history, knows that, if this
[ 44 ]
G A D S B Y
band of bright, loyal pals of Gadsby's was out to
attain a goal, it was mighty apt to start things hum-
ming, To say that Gadsby's rivals got a bad jolt as
it got around town that his "bunch of warriors" was
aiding him, would put it but mildly. Two quit
instantly, saying that this is a day of Youth
and no adult has half a show against it! But two
still hung on ; clinging to a sort of fond fantasy that
Gadsby, not naturally a public sort of man, might
voluntarily drop out. But, had Gadsby so much as
thought of such an action, his Organization would
quickly laugh it to scorn.
"Why, good gracious !" said Frank Morgan,
"if anybody should sit in that Mayor's chair in City
Hall, it's you ! Just look at what you did to boost
Branton Hills ! Until you got it a-going it had but
two thouand inhabitants ; now it has sixty thousand !
And just ask your rivals to point to any part of it
that you didn't build up. Look at our Public Li-
brary, municipal band, occupational class rooms;
auto and bus trips ; and your circus which paid for
music for sick folks. With you as Mayor, boy!
What an opportunity to boss and swing things your
own way ! Why, anything you might say is as good
as law; and "
"Now, hold on, boy !" said Gadsby, "a Mayor
[ 45 ]
G A D S B Y
can't boss things in any such a way as you think. A
Mayor has a Council, which has to pass on all bills
brought up; and, my boy, upon arriving at man-
hood, you'll find that a Mayor who can boss a Coun-
cil around, is a most uncommon bird. And as for a
Mayor's word amounting to a law, it's a mighty
good thing that it can't! Why, a Mayor can't do
much of anything, today, Frank, without a bunch of
crazy bat-brains stirring up a rumpus about his acts
looking 'suspiciously shady.' Now that is a bad
condition in which to find a city, Frank. You boys
don't know anything about graft; but as you grow
up you will find many flaws in a city's laws ; but also
many points thoroughly good and fair. Just try to
think what a city would amount to if a solitary man
could control its law making, as a King or Sultan
of old. That was why so many millions of inhabi-
tants would start wars and riots against a tyrant;
for many a King zvas a tyrant, Frank, and had no
thought as to how his laws would suit his thousands
of rich and poor. A law that might suit a rich man,
might work all kinds of havoc with a poor family."
"But," said Frank, "why should a King pass
a law that would dissatisfy anybody?"
Gadsby's parry to this rising youthful ambi-
tion for light on politicial affairs was : —
[ 46 ]
G A D S B Y
"Why will a cluck go into a pond?" and
Frank found that though a growing young man
might know a thing or two, making laws for a city
waS a man's job.
So, with a Mayoralty campaign on his hands,
plus planning for that big auditorium, Gadsby was
as busy as a fly around a syrup jug ; for a mass of
campaign mail had to go out; topics for orations
thought up; and contacts with his now truly im-
portant Organization of Youth, took so many hours
out of his days that his family hardly saw him, at
all. Noon naturally stood out as a good opportuni-
ty for oratory, as thousands, out for lunch, would
stop, in passing. But, also, many a hall rang with
plaudits as an antagonist won a point; but many a
throng saw Gadsby's good points, and plainly told
him so by turning out voluminously at any point at
which his oratory was to flow. It was truly miracu-
lous how this man of shy disposition, found words
in putting forth his plans for improving Branton
Hills , town of his birth. Many an orator has grown
up from an unassuming individual who had things
worth saying ; and who, through that curious facili-
ty which is born of a conviction that his plans had
a practical basis, won many a ballot against such
prolific flows of high-sounding words as his antag-
onists had in stock. Many a night Gadsby was "all
[ 47 ]
G A D S B Y
in," as his worn-out body and an aching throat
sought his downy couch. No campaign is a cinch.
With so many minds amongst a city's pop-
ulation, just that many calls for this or that
swung back and forth until that most important
of all days, — voting day, was at hand. What
crowds, mobs and jams did assail all polling
booths, casting ballots to land a party-man in City
Hall ! If a voting booth was in a school building,
as is a common custom pupils had that day off ; and,
as Gadsby was Youth's champion, groups of kids
hung around, watching and hoping with that avidi-
ty so common with youth, that Gadsby would win
by a majority unknown in Branton Hills. And
As soon as it was shown by official count,
Branton Hills was a riot, from City Hall to City
limits; throngs tramping around, tossing hats aloft;
for a hard-working man had won what many thou-
sands thought was fair and just.
[ 48 ]
As soon as Gadsby's in-
auguration had put him in a position to do things
with authority, his first act was to start things mov-
ing on that big auditorium plan, for which many
capitalists had bought bonds. Again public opinion
had a lot to say as to how such a building should
look, what it should contain; how long, how high,
how costly ; with a long string of if s and buts.
Family upon family put forth claims for
rooms for public forums in which various thoughts
upon world affairs could find opportunity for dis-
cussion; Salvation Army officials thought that a
big hall for a public Sunday School class would do
a lot of good; and that, lastly, what I must, from
this odd yarn's strict orthography, call a "film show,"
should, without doubt occupy a part of such a build-
ing. Anyway, talk or no talk, Gadsby said that it
s^uld stand as a building for man, woman and
child; rich or poor; and, barring its "film show,"
without cost to anybody. Branton Hills' folks could
thus swim, do gymnastics, talk on public affairs, or
"just sit and gossip", at will. So it was finally built
in a charming park amidst shriV L: '• and blossoms-; 30*
additional honor for GadsKy.
r 49 ]
G A D S B Y
But such buildings as Branton Hills now had
could not fulfill all functions of so rapidly growing
a city; for you find, occasionally, a class of folks
who cannot afford a doctor, if ill. This was brought
up by a girl of our Organization, Doris Johnson,
who, on Christmas Day, in taking gifts to a poor
family, had found a woman critically ill, and with
no funds for aid or comforts; and instantly, in
Doris' quick young mind a vision of a big city hos-
pital took form; and, on a following day Gadsby
had his Organization at City Hall, to "just talk,"
(and you know how that bunch can talk !) to a Coun-
cilman or two.
Now, if any kind of a building in all this big
world costs good, hard cash to build, and furnish, it
is a hospital ; and it is also a building which a pub-
lic knows nothing about. So Mayor Gadsby saw
that if his Council would pass an appropriation for
it, no such squabbling as had struck his Municipal
Auditorium plan, would occur. But Gadsby forgot
Branton Hills' landlords, all of whom had "a most
glorious spot," just right for a hospital; until, fi-
nally, a group of physicians was told to look around.
And did Branton Hills' landlords call upon Branton
Hills' physicians? I'll say so!! Anybody visiting
10 ah, not knowing . vyhat was going on, would think
that vacant land was a" common as raindrops in a
[ 5o ]
G A D S B Y
cloudburst. Small plots sprang into public light
which couldn't hold a poultry barn, to say nothing of
a big City Hospital. But no grasping landlord can
fool physicians in talking up a hospital location, so
it was finally built, on high land, with a charming
vista across Branton Hills' suburbs and distant
hills ; amongst which Gadsby's charity auto and bus
trips took so many happy invalids on past hot days.
Now it is only fair that our boys and girls
of this famous Organization of Youth, should walk
forward for an introduction to you. So I will bring
forth such bright and loyal girls as Doris Johnson,
Dorothy Fitts, Lucy Donaldson, Marian Hopkins,
Priscilla Standish, Abigail Worthington, Sarah
Young, and Virginia Adams. Amongst the boys,
cast a fond look upon Arthur Rankin, Frank Mor-
gan, John Hamilton, Paul Johnson, Oscar Knott
and William Snow; as smart a bunch of Youth as
you could find in a month of Sundays.
As soon as our big hospital was built and
functioning, Sarah Young and Priscilla Standish,
in talking with groups of girls, had found a longing
for a night-school , as so many folks had to work all
day, so couldn't go to our Manual Training School.
So Mayor Gadsby took it up with Branton Hills'
School Board. Now school boards do not always
think in harmony with Mayors and Councils; in
[ 51 ]
G A D S B Y
fact, what with school boards, Councils, taxation
boards, paving contractors, Sunday closing- hou r
agitations, railway rights of way, and all-round
political "mud-slinging," a Mayor has a tough job
Two of Gadsby's School Board said "NO!!"
A right out-loud, slam-bang big "NO!!" Two
thought that a night school was a good thing; but
four, with a faint glow of financial wisdom, ( a
rarity in politics, today!) saw no cash in sight for
such an institution.
But Gadsby's famous Organization won
again! Branton Hills did not contain a family j n
which this Organization wasn't known ; and many
a sock was brought out from hiding, and many a
sofa pillow cut into, to aid any plan in which this
group had a part.
But, just as funds had grown to what Mayor
Gadsby thought would fill all such wants, a row in
Council as to this fund's application got so hot that
"His Honor" got mad; mighty mad!! And said:—
"Why is it that any bill for appropriations I
coming up in this Council has to kick up such a
rumpus ? Why can't you look at such things with j
a public mind ; for nothing can so aid toward pass- .
ing bills as harmony. This city is not holding off an i
attacking army. Branton Hills is not a pack of wild I
animals, snapping and snarling by day ; jumping, at |
[ 52 ]
G A D S B Y
a crackling twig, at night. It is a city of hu-
ttia ns; animals, if you wish, but with a gift from
On High of a brain, so far apart from all dumb
animals as to allow us to talk about our public af-
fairs calmly and thoughtfully. All this Night
School rumpus is foolish. Naturally, what is taught
in such a school is an important factor ; so I want to
find out from our Organization "
At this point, old Bill Simpkins got up, with :
"This Organization of Youth stuff puts a
kink in my spinal column ! Almost all of it is through
school. So how can you bring such a group for-
ward as 'pupils ?' "
"A child," said Gadsby, "who had such
schooling as Branton Hills affords is, naturally,
still a pupil ; for many will follow up a study if an
opportunity is at hand. Many adults also carry out
a custom of brushing up on unfamiliar topics ; thus ,
also, ranking as pupils. Possibly, Bill, if you would
look up that word 'pupil,' you wouldn't find so much
fault with insignificant data."
"All right!" was Simpkins' snap-back; "but
what I want to know is, what our big Public Li-
brary is for. Your 'pupils' can find all sorts of in-
formation in that big building. So why build a
night school ? It's nothing but a duplication !"
"A library," said Gadsby, "is not a school.
[ 53 ]
D S B
It has no instructors ; you cannot talk in its room* I
You may find a book or two on your study, or you i
may not. You would find it a big handicap if y 0u
think that you can accomplish much with no aid but '
that of a Public Library. Young folks know what
young folks want to study. It is foolish, say, to inj
stall a class in Astronomy, for although it is a 'Night I
School,' its pupils' thoughts might not turn toward
Mars, Saturn or shooting stars; but shorthand, in.
eluding training for typists amongst adults who
naturally don't go to day schools, is most important
today; also History and Corporation Law; and I
know that a study of Music would attract many,
Any man or woman who works all day, but still
wants to study at night, should find an opportunity
for doing so."
This put a stop to Councilman Simpkins'
criticisms, and approval was put upon Gadsby's
plan ; and it was but shortly that this school's pop-
ularity was shown in a most amusing way. Brant-
on Hills folks, in passing it on going out for a show |
or social call, caught most savory whiffs, as its cook-
ing class was producing doughnuts and biscuits ; for
a Miss Chapman, long famous as a cook for Bran-i
ton Hills' Woman's Club, had about forty girls find-
ing out about that magic art. So, too, occasionally a
cranky old Councilman, who had fought against
G A D S B Y
"this foolish night school proposition," would pass
by; and, oh, hum!! A Councilman is only an ani-
mal, you know; and, on cooking class nights, such
a n animal, unavoidably drawn by that wafting
aroma, would go in, just a bit humiliatingly, and, in
praising Miss Chapman for doing "such important
work for our young girls," would avidly munch a
piping hot biscuit or a sizzling doughnut from a
young girl's hand, who, a month ago, couldn't fry a
slab of bacon without burning it.
t 55 ]
Just as Gadsby was
thinking nothing was now lacking in Branton Hills,
a child in a poor family got typhoid symptoms from
drinking from a small brook at a picnic and, with-
out any aid from our famous Organization, a pub-
lic clamor was forthcoming for Municipal District
Nursing, as so many folks look with horror at going
to a hospital. Now District Nursing calls for no
big appropriation; just salary, a first-aid outfit, a
supply of drugs and so forth; and, now-a-days, a
car. And, to Branton Hills' honor four girls who
had had nursing training soon brought, not only
small comforts, but important ministrations to a
goodly part of our population. In districts without
this important municipal function, common colds
may run into long-drawn-out attacks ; and contagion
can not only shut up a school or two but badly handi-
cap all forms of public activity.
"Too many small towns," said Gadsby, "try
to go without public nursing; calling it foolish, and
claiming that a family ought to look out for its own
sick. BUT! Should a high mortality, such as this
Nation HAS known, occur again, such towns will
frantically broadcast a call for girls with nursing
[ 56 ]
G A D S B Y
training; and wish that a silly, cash-saving custom
hadn't brought such critical conditions."
At this point I want to bring forward an in-
dividual who has had a big part in Branton Hills'
growth ; but who, up to now, has not shown up in
this history. You know that Gadsby had a family,
naturally including a woman; and that woman was
fondly and popularly known throughout town as
Lady Gadsby; a rank fittingly matching Gadsby's
"His Honor," upon his inauguration as Mayor.
Lady Gadsby was strongly in favor of all kinds of
clubs or associations; organizing a most worthy
Charity Club, a Book Club and a Political Auxil-
iary. It was but a natural growth from Woman's
part in politics, both municipal and National; and
which, in many a city, has had much to say toward
nominations of good officials, and running many a
crook out of town; for no crook, nor "gang boss"
can hold out long if up against a strong Woman's
Club. Though it was long thought that woman's
brain was minor in comparison with man's, woman,
as a class, now-a-day shows an all-round activity;
and has brought staid control to official actions
which had had a long run through domination by
man; — that proud, cocky, strutting animal who
thinks that this gigantic world should hop, skip and
jump at his commands. So, from, or through just
[ 57 ]
G A D S B Y
such clubs as Lady Gadsby's, Branton Hills was
soon attracting folks from surrounding districts ; in
fact, it was known as a sort of Fairyland in which
all things turn out satisfactorily. This was, plainly,
a condition which would call for much additional
building; which also brings additional tax inflow;
so Branton Hills was rapidly growing into a most
important community. So, at a School Board
lunch, His Honor said: —
"I trust that now you will admit that what
I said long ago about making a city an attraction to
tourists, is bringing daily confirmation. Oh, what
a lot of politically blind city and town officials I
could point out within a day's auto trip from Bran-
ton Hills ! Many such an official, upon winning a
foothold in City Hall, thinks only of his own co-
horts, and his own gain. So it is not surprising that
public affairs grow stagnant. Truly, I cannot fath-
om such minds! I can think of nothing so satis-
fying as doing public good in as many ways as an
official can. Think, for an instant, as to just what
a city is. As I said long ago, it is not an array of
buildings, parks and fountains. No. A city is a
living thing! It is, actually, human; for it is a
group of humanity growing up in daily contact ; and
if officials adopt as a slogan, "all I can do," and not
"all I can grab," only its suburban boundary can
[ 58 ]
G A D S B Y
limit its growth. Branton Hills attracts thousands,
annually. All of that influx looks for comforts, an
opportunity to work, and good schools. Branton
Hills has all that; and I want to say that all who
visit us, with thoughts of joining us, will find us
holding out a glad hand; promising that all such
fond outlooks will find confirmation at any spot
within cannon-shot of City Hall."
At this point, a woman from just such a
group got up, saying: —
"I want to back up your mayor. On my first
visit to your charming city I saw an opportunity
for my family; and, with woman's famous ability
for arguing, I got my husband to think as I do ; and
not an hour from that day has brought us any dis-
satisfaction. Your schools stand high in compari-
son with any out our way; your shops carry first-
class goods, your laws act without favoritism for
anybody or class ; and an air of happy-go-lucky con-
ditions actually shouts at you, from all parts of
Now, as months slid past it got around to
Night School graduation day ; and as it was this in-
stitution's first, all Branton Hills was on hand, pack-
ing its big hall. An important part was a musical
half-hour by its big chorus, singing such grand com-
positions as arias from Faust, Robin Hood, Aida,
[ 59 ]
G A D S B Y
and Martha; also both boys' and girls' bands, both
brass and strings, doing first-class work on a Sousa
march, a Strauss waltz, and a potpourri of National
airs from many lands, which brought a storm of
hand clapping; for no form of study will so aid
youth in living happily, as music. Ability to play
or sing; to know what is good or poor in music, in-
stills into young folks a high quality of thought;
and, accuracy is found in its rigidity of rhythm.
As soon as this music class was through,
Gadsby brought forth soloists, duos and trios; vio-
linists, pianists, and so many young musicians that
Branton Hills was as proud of its night school as a
girl is of "that first diamond." That brought our
program around to introducing pupils who had won
honor marks: four girls in knitting, oil painting,
cooking and journalism; and four smart youths in
brass work, wood-carving and Corporation law.
But pupils do not form all of a school body; so a
group of blushing instructors had to bow to an
Though this was a school graduation, Mayor
Gadsby said it would do no harm to point out a plan
for still adding to Branton Hills' public spirit : —
"This town is too plain; too dingy. Brick
walls and asphalt paving do not light up a town, but
dim it. So I want to plant all kinds of growing
[ 60 ]
G A D S B Y
things along many of our curbs. In our parks I
want ponds with gold fish, fancy ducks and big
swans; row-boats, islands with arbors, and lots of
shrubs that blossom; not just an array of twigs and
stalks. I want, in our big City Park, a casino, danc-
ing pavilion, lunch rooms ; and parkings for as many
cars as can crowd in. So I think that all of us
ought to pitch in and put a bright array of natural
aids round about; both in our shopping district and
suburbs; for you know that old saying, that 'a
charming thing is a joy always.' "
So a miraculous transformation of any spot
at all dull was soon a fact. Oak, birch and poplar
saplings stood along curbs and around railway sta-
tions ; girls brought in willow twigs, ivy roots, bulbs
of canna, dahlia, calladium, tulip, jonquil, gladiola
and hyacinth. Boys also dug many woodland shrubs
which, standing along railway tracks, out of town,
took away that gloomy vista so commonly found
upon approaching a big city; and a long grassplot,
with a rim of boxwood shrubs, was laid out, half
way from curb to curb on Broadway, in Branton
Hills' financial district. As Gadsby was looking at
all this with happy satisfication, a bright lad from
our Night School's radio class, told him that Bran-
ton Hills should install a broadcasting station, as
no city, today, would think of trying to win ad-
[ 61 ]
G A D S B Y
ditional population without that most important
adjunct for obtaining publicity. So any man or
boy who had any knack at radio was all agog; and
about a thousand had ambitions for a job in it, at
which only about six can work. And City Hall had
almost a riot, as groups of politicians, pastors and
clubs told just what such a station should, and
should not broadcast; for a broadcasting station,
with its vast opportunity for causing both satisfac-
tion and antagonism, must hold rigidly aloof from
any racial favoritism, church, financial or nationali-
ty criticisms; and such a policy is, as any broad-
casting station will admit, most difficult of adoption.
First of all stood that important position of what
you might call "studio boss." Although a man in
control of a station is not known as "boss," I think
it will pass in this oddly built-up story. Now I am
going to boost our famous Organization again, by
stating that a boy from its ranks, Frank Morgan,
was put in; for it was a hobby of Gadsby to put
Branton Hills boys in Branton Hills Municipal jobs.
So Frank, right away, got all sorts of calls for hours
or half hours to broadcast "most astounding bar-
gains" in clothing, salad oils, motor oils, motor
"gas", soaps, cars, and tooth brush lubricants.
With a big Fall campaign for Washington officials
about to start, such a position as Frank's was chuck
[ 62 ]
G A D S B Y
full of pitfalls ; a stiff proposition for a young chap,
not long out of High School. But Gadsby took him
"Now, boy, hold your chin up, and you will
find that most folks, though cranky or stubborn at
first, will follow your rulings if you insist, in a civil
w ay, that you know all our National Radio Commis-
sion's laws binding your station. Millions, of all
kinds, will dial in your station; and what would
highly satisfy a group in Colorado might actually
insult a man down in Florida; for radio's wings
carry far. You know I'll back you up, boy. But now,
what would you call this station?"
"Oh," said our tyro-boss; "a radio station
should work with initials showing its location. So
a Branton Hills station could stand as KBH."
Such initials, ringing with civic patriotism,
hit Gadsby just right ; his Council put it in writing ;
and "Station KBH" was born! Though it is not
important to follow it from now on, I will say that
our vast country, by tuning in on KBH, found out
a lot about this Utopia.
"You know that good old yarn," said Gads-
by, "about making so good a rat-trap that millions
will tramp down your grass in making a path to
your front door."
[ 63 ]
Now don't think that
our famous Organization, having shown its worth
on so many occasions, sat down without thinking
of doing anything again. No, sir ! Not this bunch !
If a boy or girl thought of any addition to Branton
Hills' popularity it was brought to Mayor Gadsby
for consultation. And so, as Lucy Donaldson on
a trip through a patch of woods, saw a big stag
looking out from a clump of shrubs, nothing would
do but to rush to His Honor to pour what thoughts
that charming sight had brought up in this bright
young mind. So, as Gadsby stood at City Hall's
front door, this palpitating, gushing young girl ran
towards him, panting and blowing from a long
"I want a zoo!!"
"A ZOO!! You know! A park with stags
and all kinds of wild animals ; and a duck pond, and
— and — and
"Whoa! Slow down a bit! Do you want
an actual zoo, or an outfit of toys that wind up and
"I want a truly, out-and-out, big zoo. Why
[ 64 ]
't y u build walls around a part of City Park,
Gadsby saw that this was an addition which
nobody had thought of, until now ; so, grasping his
voung visitor's hand, joyfully, said : —
"It's a fact, Lucy ! ! And, as you thought of
it I'll call it, — now wait; — what shall I call it?
Aha! That's it! I'll call it 'Lucy Zoo'. How's
that for quick thinking?"
"My ! That's just grand ; but what will Papa
Now Gadsby had known Lucy's family from
boyhood, so said : —
"You inform your dad that at any sign of
balking by him, I'll put HIM in Lucy Zoo, and pay
a boy to prod him with a sharp stick, until his ap-
proval is in my hands." This brought such a rol-
licking laugh that a man mowing City Hall lawn
had to laugh, too.
Now, (Ah! But I can't avoid saying it!)
our Organization was out again; but, now having
grown a bit from such childish youths as had, at
first stood in its ranks, a boy, now approaching man-
hood, and a girl, now a young woman, could solicit
funds with an ability to talk knowingly in favor of
any factor that a hanging-back contributor could
bring up in running down such a proposition. You
G A D S B Y
can always count on finding that class in any c it.
or town upon any occasion for public works ; but I
can proudly say that many saw good in our Organ -
zation's plan ; and Lucy soon found that out, in §u
"Whoops! A zoo, is it? And pray, phw at »
can't thot crazy Gadsby think up? If our big May 0r '
had four sich bys as I brought into this woilH-
worra, worra ! his parlor, halls, dinin' room arf
back yard 'd furnish him wid a zoo, all right ! \y; r
two always a-scrappin' about a ball bat or a slW)
shot; a brat continually a-bawlin' about nuthin'; an'f
a baby wid whoopin' cough, / know phwat a zoo is
widout goin' to City Park to gawk at a indigo ba-f
boon, or a pink torn cat."
"But," said Lucy, trying hard not to laugh; l
"Mayor Gadsby isn't thinking of putting in pink'
torn cats, nor any kind of torn cats in this zoo. It
is for only wild animals."
"WILD ! ! Say, if you could look into my
back door as Old Man Flanagan quits work, an'
brings back a load o' grog, you'd find thot you hadtj
wild animals roight in this town, all roight, all
But, as on so many occasions, this charming
girl got a contribution, with Old Lady Flanagan
calling out from a front window : —
[ 66 ]
G A D S B Y
"Good luck, Lucy darlin' ! I'm sorry I was
s o dom cranky !"
But though popular opinion was in favor of
having a zoo, popular opinion didn't hand in dona-
tions to within four thousand dollars of what it
would cost to install ; and Gadsby and his "gang"
had to do a bit of brain racking, so as not to disap-
point lots of good folks who had paid in. Finally,
Sarah Young thought of a rich woman living just
across from City Park. This woman, Lady Stand-
ish, was of that kind, loving disposition which would
bring in a cold, hungry, lost pup, or cat, and fill it
up with hot food and milk. Branton Hills kids
could bring any kind of a hurt or sick animal or
bird; and Sarah had long known that that back
yard was, actually, a small zoo, anyway; with dogs,
cats, poultry, two robins too young to fly, four
sparrows and a canary, almost bald. Sarah thought
that any woman, loving animals as Lady Standish
did, might just thrill at having a big zoo-ful right
at hand. So, saying, "I'll go and find out, right
now," was off as an arrow from a bow. As soon
as this kindly woman found out what was on
Sarah's mind, our young solicitor got a loving kiss,
with : —
"A zoo! Oh! how truly charming! What
grand things Mayor Gadsby can think up without
G A D S B Y
half trying!" And Sarah had to grin, thinking
of Lucy, and Old Lady Flanagan's opinion of His
Honor ! "You may not know it, Sarah," said Lady
Standish, "but John Gadsby and I had a big flirta-
tion, way back in our school days. And HOW
downcast poor Johnny was at my finding a hus-
band out of town! But that was long, long ago,
darling. So, just to sort of pacify my old pal,
John, I'll gladly put up your missing four thous-
and ; and you go to His Honor and say that I wish
him all sorts of good luck with this plan."
Now, Olympic champions must train con-
tinuously, but, customarily, in gymnasiums. But
today, folks in Branton Hills' shopping district had
to turn and gasp; for a young woman was sprint-
ing wildly toward City Hall; for Sarah was in a
hurry. Gadsby was just coming out, as this girl,
as badly blown as Lucy was in asking for a zoo,
ran up, calling out: —
"I GOT IT!! I GOT IT!!"
"Got what? A fit?"
"No! I got that final four thousand dol-
lars ! It's from Lady Standish, who says that way
back in school days, you and "
"Whoa!! That was back in history!" but
Gadsby was blushing, and Sarah was winking,
[ 68 ]
G A D S B Y
Now Gadsby was as fond of his Organiza-
tion boys and girls as of his own; and Sarah was
s o radiantly happy that all His Honor could say
"My, now, Sarah! That's mighty good
work! And as I told Lucy I'd call our zoo Lucy
Zoo for thinking of it, I'll find a way to honor you,
too. Aha! I'll put up a big arch, through which
all visitors must pass, and call it 'Sarah Young's
Rainbow Arch.' How's that?"
Now Sarah had a bit of natural wit; so
quickly said: —
"That's just grand if you'll bury that fa-
mous pot of gold at its foot, so I can dig it up !"
[ 69 ]
Now THAT a Zoo was
actually on its way, Gadsby had to call in various
groups to talk about what a Zoo should contain.
Now, you know that all animals can't find room in
this orthographically odd story ; so, if you visit Lucy
Zoo, you'll miss a customary inhabitant, or two.
But you'll find an array worthy of your trip. So
a call was put in two big daily journals, asking for
bids on animals and birds; and soon, from north,
south and criss-cross points, a hunting party or a
city with too many zoo animals on hand got in touch
with Branton Hills, with proposals for all kinds of
animals, from kangaroos to bats; and our Organi-
zation had a lot of fun planning how many it could
crowd into City Park, without crowding out visi-
tors. Finally a ballot put Lucy's zoological popula-
tion as follows : —
First, according to Lucy, "an awfully, AW-
FULLY big hippopotamus, with a pool for its com-
fort;" a yak, caribou, walrus, (also with a pool,)
a long fox-run, bisons, gnus, stags, (it was a stag,
you know, that got this zoo plan going!), alligators,
mountain lions, African lions, wild cats, wild boars,
llamas, gorillas, baboons, orang-outangs, mandrils;
[ 70 ]
G A D S B Y
and, according to Gadsby's boys, a "big gang" of
that amusing, tiny mimic always found accompany-
in? hand-organs. Also an aviary, containing con-
dors, buzzards, parrots, ibis, macaws, adjutant
birds, storks, owls, quail, falcons, tiny humming
birds, a sprinkling of hawks, mocking birds, swans,
fancy ducks, toucans; and a host of small singing
birds; and oh! without fail, an ostrich family;
and, last, but most important of all, a big first cous-
in of old Jumbo ! A big glass building would hold
boa constrictors, pythons, cobras, lizards, and so
forth; and down in back of all this, an outdoor
aquarium, full of goldfish, rainbow trout, various
fancy fish and blossoming aquatic plants. All in
all it would furnish a mighty amusing and popular
spot which would draw lots of out-of-town visitors ;
and visitors, you know, might turn into inhabitants !
And so things finally got around to Inauguration
Day; and, knowing that no kid could sit still in
school on such an occasion, it was put down for a
Saturday; and, so many happy, shouting, hopping,
jumping kids stood waiting for His Honor to cut a
satin ribbon in front of Sarah Young's Rainbow
Arch, that grown folks had to wait, four blocks
back. As Gadsby was roaming around with Lucy,
to find if things should start moving, old Pat Ryan,
from Branton Hills' railway station, was hunting
[ 71 ]
G A D S B Y
for him; finally locating him in a lunch room, and
rushing in with : —
"Say ! That big hop-skip-and-jump artist i s
down in my trunk room ! I got a punch on my j aw
a crack on my snout, and a kick on my shins a-tryin'
to calm him down!"
"A kick and a punch ? What actions !" said
Gadsby. "I don't know of any hop-skip-and-jurtin
artist. How big a man is it ?"
"Worra, worra! It ain't no man at all, a j
all ! It's that thing what grows in Australia, and-—"
But Lucy saw light right off ; and "laughing
fit to kill," said : —
"Oh, ho, ho!! I know! It's that boxing
kangaroo you bought from Barnum's circus !" and a
charming girl was doubling up in a wild storm of
giggling, ignoring old Pat's scowls.
"Ah! That's him, all right," said Gadsby,
"So, Pat, just put him in a burlap bag and ship him
to this zoo."
"Who? / put him in a burlap bag? Say,
boss ! If I can pick up about six husky guys around
that station; and if I can find a canvas, not a
burlap, bag ; and put on a gas mask, a stomach pad,
two shin-guards, and "
But that crowd at Sarah's Arch was shout-
ing for Gadsby to cut that ribbon so old Pat had to
[ 72 ]
G A D S B Y
bag that Australian tornado; and in a way that
would not hurt him ; for kangaroo actors cost good
cash, you know.
So that crowd of kids got in, at last ! Now
zoo animals can think, just as humans can; and it
was amusing to watch a pair of boys staring at a
pair of orang-outangs; and a pair of orang-ou-
tangs staring back at a pair of boys ; both thinking,
no doubt, what funny things it saw ! And, occasion-
ally, both animal and boy won a point ! Now if you
think that only young folks find any fun in going to
a zoo, you probably don't go to zoos much ; for many
a big, rotund capitalist had to laugh at simian an-
tics, though, probably figuring up just how much
satisfaction his cash contribution brought him.
Many a family woman forgot such things as a fin-
icky child or burning biscuits. All was happy-go-
lucky joy; and, at two o'clock, as Branton Hills'
Municipal Band, (a part of Gadsby's Organization
of Youth's work, you know) struck up a bright
march, not a glum physiognomy was found in all
that big park.
Gadsby and Lucy had much curiosity in
watching what such crashing music would do to
various animals. At first a spirit akin to worry had
baboons, gorillas, and such, staring about, as still
as so many posts; until, finding that no harm was
[ 73 ]
G A D S B Y
coming from such sounds, soon took to climbing and
swinging again. Stags, yaks and llamas did a bit
of high-kicking at first; Gadsby figuring that
drums, and not actual music, did it. But a lilting
waltzing aria did not worry any part of this big
zoo family; in fact, a fox, wolf and jackal, in a
quandary at first actually lay down, as though
music truly "hath charms to calm a wild bosom."
At Gadsby's big aquarium visitors found
not only fun, but opportunity for studying many
a kind of fish not ordinarily found in frying pans;
and, though in many lands, snails form a popular
food, Lucy, Sarah and Virginia put on furious
scowls at a group of boys who thought "Snails
might go good, with a nut-pick handy." ^But boys
always will say things to horrify girls, you know.)
And upon coming to that big glass building, with
its boa constrictors, alligators, lizards and so on,
a boy grinningly "got a girl's goat" by wanting to
kiss a fifty- foot anaconda; causing Lucy to say,
haughtily, that "No boy, wanting to kiss such hor-
rid, wriggly things can kiss us Branton Hills girls."
(Good for you, Lucy! I'd pass up a sixty-foot
anaconda, any day, for you.)
In following months many a school class
was shown through our zoo's fascinating paths, as
instructors told of this or that animal's habits and
[ 74 ]
G A D S B Y
natural haunts ; and showing that it was as worthy
of sympathy, if ill, as any human. And not only
did such pupils obtain kindly thoughts for zoo ani-
mals, but cats, dogs and all kinds of farm stock
soon found that things had an uncommon look,
through a dropping off in scoldings and whippings ,
and rapidly improving living conditions. But most
important of all was word from an ugly, hard-look-
ing woman, who, watching, with an apologizing
sniff, a flock of happy birds, said : —
"I'm sorry that I always slap and bawl out
my kids so much, for I know, now, that kids or ani-
mals won't do as you wish if you snap and growl
too much. And I trust that Mayor Gadsby knows
what a lot of good all his public works do for us."
Now this is a most satisfactory and import-
ant thing to think about, for brutality will not, —
cannot, — accomplish what a kindly disposition will ;
and, if folks could only know how quickly a "balky"
child will, through loving and cuddling, grow into
a charming, happy youth, much childish gloom and
sorrow would vanish; for a man or woman who is
ugly to a child is too low to rank as highly as a wild
animal; for no animal will stand, for an instant,
anything approaching an attack, or any form of
harm to its young. But what a lot of tots find slaps,
yanks and hard words for conditions which do not
[ 75 ]
G A D S B Y
call for such harsh tactics! No child is naturally
ugly or "cranky." And big, gulping sobs, or sad,
unhappy young minds, in a tiny body should not
occur in any community of civilization. Adult-
hood holds many an opportunity for such conditions.
Childhood should not.
Now just a word about zoos. Many folks
think that animals in a zoo know no comforts ; noth-
ing but constant fright from living in captivity.
Such folks do not stop to think of a thing or two
about an animal's wild condition. Wild animals
must not only constantly hunt for food, but invar-
iably fight to kill it and to hold it, too ; for, in such
a fight, a big antagonist will naturally win from
a small individual. Thus, what food is found,
is also lost; and hunting must go on, day by
day, or night by night until a tragic climax — by
thirst or starvation. But in a zoo, food
is brought daily, with facility for drinking, and laid
right in front of hoofs, paws or bills. For small
animals, roofs and thick walls ward off cold winds
and rain ; and so, days of calm inactivity, daily naps
without worrying about attack ; and a carting away
of all rubbish and filth soon puts a zoo animal in
bodily form which has no comparison with its wild
condition. Lack of room in which to climb, roam
or play, may bring a zoo animal to that condition
[ 76 ]
G A D S B Y
known as "soft" ; but, as it now has no call for vigor,
and its fighting passions find no opportunity for dis-
play, such an animal is gradually approaching that
condition which has brought Man, who is only an
animal, anyway, to his lofty point in Natural His-
tory, today. Truly, with such tribulations, worry,
and hard work as Man puts up with to obtain his
food and lodging, a zoo animal, if it could only know
of our daily grind, would comfortably yawn, thank-
ful that Man is so kindly looking out for it. With
similar animals all around it, and, day by day, just
a happy growth from cub-hood to maturity, I al-
most wish that I was a zoo animal, with no boss to
growl about my not showing up, mornings, at a
Now, as our Organiza-
tion of Youth is rapidly growing up, a young
crowd, too young to join it at first, is coming up;
imbibing its "why-not-do-it-now ?" spirit. So, as
Gadsby stood in front of that big Municipal Audi-
torium (which that group, you know, had had built),
Marian Hopkins, a small girl, in passing by, saw
him, and said : —
"I think Branton Hills ought to buy a bal-
"Balloon? Balloon? What would this city
do with a balloon? Put a string on it so you could
run around with it?"
"No ; not that kind of a balloon, but that big,
zooming kind that sails way up high, with a man in
"Oh ! Ha, ha ! You think an air-craft is a
balloon! But what would — Aha! An airport?"
"Uh-huh; but I didn't know how to say it."
"By cracky!" said His Honor. "I thought
this town was about through improving. But an
airport would add a bit to it ; now wouldn't it ?"
Marian had a most profound opinion that it
would; (if profound opinions grow in such small
[ 78 ]
G A D S B Y
kids!) so both took a walk to City Hall to hunt up
a Councilman or two. Finding four in a Council
room, Gadsby said : —
"Youth, or, I should say, childhood, has just
shown that Branton Hills is shy on a most im-
portant acquisition," and Old Bill Simpkins just had
to blurt out : —
"And, naturally, it calls for cash ! CASH !
CASH ! CASH ! ! What will this town amount to if
it blows in dollars so fast ?"
"And," said Gadsby, "what will it amount to,
if it don't?"
That put a gag on Old Bill. Councilman
Banks, though, was curious to know about Marian's
proposition, saying: —
"It is probably a plan for buying Christmas
toys for all Branton Hills kids."
But tiny Marian, with a vigorous stamp of
a tiny foot, swung right back with: —
"NO, SIR!! Santa Claus will bring us our
gifts! But I thought of having a — what did you
call it, Mayor Gadsby?"
"This child thinks Branton Hills should build
an airport, and I think so, too. If our inhabitants,
such as this tot, can think up such things, all adults
should pack up, and vanish from municipal affairs.
All right, Marian; our City Council, your City
[ 79 ]
G A D S B Y
Council, my young patriot, will look into this air-
port plan for you."
So, as on similar occasions months ago,
word that land was again cropping up in Gadsby's
mind, brought out a flood of landlords with vacant
lots, all looking forward to disposing of a dump
worth two dollars and a half, for fifty thousand.
Now an airport must occupy a vast lot of land, so
cannot stand right in a City's shopping district;
but finally a big tract was bought, and right in
back of tiny Marian's back yard! Instantly, City
Hall was full of applicants for flying Branton Hills'
first aircraft. To Gadsby's joy, amongst that bunch
was Harold Thompson, an old Organization lad,
who was known around town as a chap who could
do about anything calling for brains. As an air-
port is not laid out in a day, Harold got busy with
paid aviators and soon was piloting a craft with-
out aid; and not only Branton Hills folks, but old
aviators, saw in Harold, a "bird-man" of no small
ability. And so tiny Marian's "vision" was a fact;
just as "big girl" Lucy's Zoo; and, as with all big
City affairs, an Inauguration should start it off.
Now, on all such affairs you always find a "visitor
of honor"; and on this grand day Gadsby couldn't
think of anybody for that important post but Mar-
[ 80 ]
G A D S B Y
ian. And, as it would occur in August, any day
would do, as that is a school vacation month.
And what a mob stood, or sat, on that big
airport, waiting for a signal from young Marian
which would start Harold aloft, on Branton Hills'
initial flight ! Almost all brought a lunch and camp-
stools or folding chairs; and, as it was a hot day,
thousands of gay parasols, and an array of bright
clothing on our school-girls, had that big lot look-
ing as brilliant as a florist's window at Christmas.
Our young visitor of honor was all agog
with joy; and, I think, possibly a touch of vanity;
for what child wouldn't thrill with thousands watch-
ing? But though Marian had always had good
clothing, coming from a family who could afford it,
no tot, in all history, had so glorious an outfit as
that which about all Branton Hills' population saw
on that platform, amidst flags, bunting and our
big Municipal Band. As an airship is a simulation
of a bird ; and as a bird, to a child, is not far from a
fairy, Marian had gaudy fairy wings, a radiant
cloak of gold, a sparkling gown all aglow with
twinkling stars, and a long glass wand, with a star
at its top. As soon as all was in condition Gadsby
told Marian to stand up. This brought that vast
crowd up, also; and Gadsby said: —
[ 81 1
"Now hold your wand way up high, and
swing it, to signal Harold to start."
Up shot a tiny arm; and Harold, watching
from his cockpit, sang out: — "CONTACT!!"
A vigorous twist of his ship's gigantic "fan"
a shout, a roar, a whizz, a mighty cloud of dust, and
amid a tornado of clapping, shouts, and band music,
Branton Hills was put on aviation's map. Way,
way up, so far as to look as small as a toy, Harold
put on a show of banking, rolling and diving, which
told Gadsby that, still again, had Branton Hills
found profit in what its Organization of Youth,
and, now, its small kids, had to say about improving
During that box-lunch picnic, many of our
"big girls" brought so much food to Marian that
Dad and Ma had to stand guard against tummy
pains. And what a glorious, jolly occasion that pic-
nic was! Gay band music, songs, dancing, oratory;
and a grand all-round "howdy" amongst old inhabi-
tants and arriving tourists soon was transforming
that big crowd into a happy group, such as it is hard
to find, today, in any big city; cold, distant, and
with no thought by its politicians for anybody in it ;
and Gadsby found, around that big airport, many a
man, woman and child who was as proud of him as
was his own family.
[ 82 ]
I THINK THAT now yOU
should know this charming Gadsby family ; so I will
bring forth Lady Gadsby, about whom I told you
at Gadsby's inauguration as Mayor ; a loyal church
woman with a vocal ability for choir work; and,
with good capability on piano or organ, no woman
could "fill in" in so many ways ; and no woman was
so willing, and quick to do so. Gadsby had two
sons; bright lads and popular with all. Julius was
of a studious turn of mind, always poring through
books of information; caring not what kind of in-
formation it was, so long as it was information, and
not fiction. Gadsby had thought of his growing
up as a school instructor, for no work is so worthy
as imparting what you know to any who long to
study. But William ! Oh, hum ! ! Our Mayor and
Lady Gadsby didn't know just what to do with him ;
for all his thoughts clung around girls and fash-
ions in clothing. Probably our High School didn't
contain a girl who didn't think that, at no distant
day, Bill Gadsby would turn, from a callow youth,
into a "big catch" husband; for a Mayor's son in
so important a city as ours was a mark for any girl
to shoot at. But Bill was not of a marrying dis-
[ 83 ]
G A D S B Y
position ; loving girls just as girls, but holding out
no hand to any in particular. Always in first class
togs, without missing a solitary fad which a young-
man should adopt, Gadsby's Bill was a lion, in his
own right, with no girl in sight who had that tact
through which a lasso could land around his manly
throat. Gadsby had many a laugh, looking back at
his own boyhood days, his various flirtations
and such wild, throbbing palpitations as a boy's
flirtations can instill; and looking back through
just such ogling groups as now sought his off-
spring; until a girl, oh, so long ago, had put a stop
to all such flirtations, and got that lasso on "with
a strangling hold," as Gadsby says; and it is still
on, today ! But this family was not all boys. Oh,
my, no! Two girls also sat around that family
board. First, following William, was Nancy, who,
as Gadsby laughingly said, "didn't know how to
grow;" and now, in High School, was "about as
big as a pint of milk;" and of such outstanding
charm that Gadsby continually got solicitations to
allow photographing for soft-drink and similar bill-
"No, sir!! Not for any sort of pay!! In
allowing public distribution of a girl's photo you
don't know into what situations said photos will
land. I find, daily, photographs of girls blowing
G A D S B Y
about vacant lots, all soggy from rains; also in a
ditch, with its customary filth; or stuck up on a
brick wall or drawn onto an imaginary body show-
ing a brand of tights or pajamas. No> sir!! Not
for my girl ! !"
Fourth in this popular family was Kathlyn,
of what is known as a "classical mold ;" with a brain
which, at no distant day, will rank high in Biology
and Microscopy ; for Kathlyn was of that sort which
finds fascination in studying out many whats and
whys amongst that vast array of facts about our
origin. This study, which too many young folks
avoid as not having practical worth had a strong
hold on Kathlyn, who could not sanction such frivo-
lous occupations as cards, dancing, or plain school
gossip. Not for an instant! Kathlyn thought that
such folks had no thoughts for anything but transi-
tory thrills. But in Biology!! Ah!! Why not
study it, and find out how a tiny, microscopic drop of
protoplasm, can, through unknown laws grow into
living organisms, which can not only go on living,
but can also bring forth offspring of its kind ? And
not only that. As said offspring must combat var-
ious kinds of surroundings and try various foods,
why not watch odd variations occur, and follow
along, until you find an animal, bird, plant or bug of
such a total dissimilarity as to form practically, a
[ 85 ]
G A D S B Y
class actually apart from its original form? Kath-
lyn did just that ; and Gadsby was proud of it ; and
I think, just a bit curious on his own part as to
occasional illustrations in this studious young lady's
school books !
Now it is known by all such natural "fad-
dists" that any such a study has points in common
with a branch akin to it ; and Kathlyn was not long
in finding out that Biology, with its facts of animal
origin, could apply to a practical control of bugs
on farms. (This word, "bugs," is hardly Biologi-
cal; but as Kathlyn is in this story, with its strict
orthographical taboo, "bugs" must unavoidably sup-
plant any classical nomination for such things.)
So, Mayor Gadsby sought Branton Hills'
Council's approval for a goodly sum; not only for
such control, but also for study as to how to plant,
in ordinary soil, and not risk losing half a crop from
worms, slugs and our awkwardly-brought-in "bugs."
This appropriation was a sort of prod, showing
this Council that publicity of any first-class kind
was good for a city ; and was casting about for any-
thing which would so act, until Gadsby's son, Bill,
(who, you know, thought of nothing but girls and
"dolling up,") found that Branton Hills had no
distinction of its own in outfits for man or woman,
so why not put up a goal of, say fifty dollars, for
[ 86 ]
G A D S B Y
anybody who could think up any worthy "stunt" in
clothing; which should go out as "Branton Hills'
This" or "Branton Hills' That." Possibly just a
form of hat-brim, a cut of coat-front, or a sporting
outfit. And our worthy Council did put up that
goal, and many brought all sorts of plans to City
Hall. And Bill won, by thinking up a girls' (al-
ways girls, with Bill!) hiking outfit, consisting of a
skirt with a rain-proof lining, which could, during
a storm, form a rain-suit by putting it on, as Bill
said, "by substituting outwards for inwards." (This
will hit Bill amusingly, as days go by!) Going
with it was a shirt with a similar "turn-out" facili-
ty, and a hiking boot with high tops as guards
against thorns and burs; but which, by undoing a
clasp, would slip off ; and, LO ! ! you had a low-cut
Oxford for ordinary occasions ! In about a month
a big cotton mill had work going full blast on
"Branton Hills' Turn-it-out Sport and Hiking Out-
fit," and a small boot-shop got out a pair of Bill's
"two-part boots," though saying that it would "prob-
ably fall apart without warning!" But Kathlyn
put on a pair and found it most satisfactory for a
long, rough hill-climb, hunting for bird and ani-
mal forms for Biological study. This proof of
Branton Hills' goods was soon known in surround-
ing towns, and that critical boot-shop and big cot-
D S B
ton mill had hard work to fill calls from Canada
Holland, Russia, Spain and Australia! And Bill
was put upon Branton Hills' Roll of Honor.
[ 88 ]
Now I'll drop civic af-
fairs for a bit, and go on to a most natural act
in this city of many young chaps and charming
young girls which was slowly working up all
through this history, as Mayor Gadsby had occasion
to find out, sitting comfortably on his porch on a
hot, sultry August night. Amidst blossoming
shrubs, a dim form slowly trod up his winding path-
way. It was a young man, plainly trying to act
calmly, but couldn't. It was Frank Morgan, our
radio broadcasting "boss", you know, who, for
many a month, had shown what a romantic public
calls "a crush" for Gadsby's young Nancy.
So a jolly call of : — "What's on your mind,
boy ?" rang out, as Frank sank wiltingly into a ham-
mock, wiping his brow of what I actually know
was not natural humidity from an August night!
Now Gadsby, who was, as I said, a gay Lothario in
his own youth, saw right off what was coming, and
sat back, waiting. Finally, finishing a bad attack
of coughing, (though Frank hadn't any cold!), that
young man said : —
"I, — that is, Nancy and I, — or, I will say
that I want to, — that is, — I think Nancy and I
[ 89 ]
G A D S B Y
would — " and Gadsby took pity on him, right off.
Nancy had always had a strong liking f 0r
Frank. Both had grown up in Branton Hills from
babyhood ; and Gadsby thought back about that las-
soo which had brought him Lady Gadsby. Now
asking a girl's Dad for that young lady's hand is no
snap for any young swain; and Gadsby was just
that kind of a Dad who would smooth out any
bumps or rough spots in such a young swain's path.
Nancy wasn't a child, now, but a grown-up young
woman; so Gadsby said: —
"Frank, Lady Gadsby and I know all about
how much you think of Nancy; and what Nancy
thinks of you. So, if you want to marry, our full
wish is for a long and happy union. Nancy is out
in that arbor, down this back path; and I'll watch
that nobody disturbs you two for an hour."
At this grand turn of affairs, Frank could
only gasp : — "OH-H-H ! !' and a shadowy form
shot down that dusky path; and from that moonlit
arbor, anybody knowing how a man chirps to a
canary bird, would know that two young birds put
a binding approval upon what His Honor had just
said ! !
Many a man has known that startling instant
in which Dan Cupid, that busy young rascal, took
things in hand, and told him that his baby girl was
[ 90 ]
G A D S B Y
n0 t a baby girl now, and was about to fly away from
him. It is both a happy and a sad thrill that shoots
through a man at such an instant. Happy and joy-
ous at his girl's arrival at maturity; sad, as it brings
to mind that awkward fact that his own youth is
now but a myth; and that his scalp is showing va-
cant spots. His baby girl in a bridal gown! His
baby girl a Matron ! His baby girl proudly placing
a grandchild in his lap!! It's an impossibility!!
But this big world is full of this kind of impossibil-
ity, and will stay so as long as Man lasts.
So Nancy, tiny, happy, laughing Nancy, was
"found" through a conspiracy by Dan Cupid and
Frank Morgan; and right in all glory of youth.
Youth!! Ah, what a word!! And how transi-
tory! But, how grand! as long as it lasts. How
many millions in gold would pour out for an ability
to call it all back, as with our musical myth, Faust.
During that magic part of a child's growth this
world is just a gigantic inquiry box, containing
many a topic for which a solution is paramount to
a growing mind. And to whom can a child look,
but us adults? Any man who "can't stop now" to
talk with a child upon a topic which, to him is "too
silly for anything," should look back to that day
upon which that topic was dark and dubious in his
[ 91 ]
D S B
own brain. A child who asks nothing will know
nothing. That is why that "bump of inquiry" w as
put on top of our skulls.
[ 92 ]
But to go back to
Nancy. It was in August that Frank had stumbling-
ly told Gadsby of his troth; and so, along in
April, Branton Hills was told that a grand church
ritual would occur in May. May, with its blossoms,
birds and balmy air! An idyllic month for matri-
mony. I wish that I could call this grand church af-
fair by its common, customary nomination ; but that
word can't possibly crowd into this story. It must
pass simply as a church ritual.
All right; so far, so good. So, along into
April all Branton Hills was agog, awaiting informa-
tion as to that actual day ; or, I should say, night.
Gadsby's old Organization of Youth was
still as loyal to all in it as it was, way back in days
of its formation ; days of almost constantly running
around town, soliciting funds for many a good
Municipal activity. Finally this group got cards
announcing that on May Fourth, Branton Hills'
First Church would admit all who might wish to
aid in starting Nancy and Frank upon that glamor-
ous path to matrimonial bliss.
May Fourth was punctual in arriving;
though many a young girl got into that flighty con-
G A D S B Y
dition in which a month drags along as though i n
irons, and clock-hands look as if stuck fast. But
to many girls, also, May Fourth was not any too
far away; for charming gowns and dainty hats do
not grow upon shrubs, you know; and girls who
work all day must hurry at night, at manipulating
a thousand or so things which go towards adorn-
ing our girls of today.
Now, an approach to a young girl's "big day"
is not always as that girl might wish. Small things
bob up, which, at first, look actually disastrous for
a joyous occasion; and for Nancy and Frank, just
such a thing did bob up ; for, on May Third, a pour-
ing rain and whistling wind put Branton Hills'
spirits way, way down into a sorrowful slump.
Black, ugly, rumbling clouds hung aggravatingly
about in a saturation of mist, rain and fog; and
roads and lawns got such a washing that Nancy
said : —
"Anyway, if I can't walk across that front
church yard, I can swim it!!"
That was Nancy; a small bunch of inborn
good humor; and I'll say, right now, that it took
good humor, and lots of it, to look upon conditions
out of your control, with such outstanding pluck!
But young Dan Cupid was still around , and
got in touch with that tyrannical mythological god
G A D S B Y
w ho controls storms ; and put forth such a convinc-
ing account of all Nancy's good points, (and
Frank's too, if anybody should ask you) that a
command rang out across a stormy sky : —
"Calling all clouds ! ! Calling all clouds ! !
All rain to stop at midnight of May Third ! Bright
Sun on May Fourth, and no wind ! !"
So, as Nancy took an anxious squint out of
doors at about six o'clock on that important morn-
ing, (and what young girl could go on, calmly
snoozing on such a day?) Lo ! ! Old Sol was smil-
ing brightly down on Branton Hills; birds sang; all
sorts of blossoming things had had a good drink;
and a most glorious sky, rid of all ugly clouds, put
our young lady into such a happy mood that it took
a lot of control to avoid just a tiny bit of humidity
around a small pair of rich, brown orbs which al-
ways had that vibrating, dancing light of happy
youth; that miraculous "joy of living."
And, what a circus was soon going full
tilt in Mayor Gadsby's mansion ! If that happy man
so much as said : — "Now, I " a grand, womanly
chorus told him that "a man don't know anything
about such affairs;" and that a most satisfactory
spot for him was in a hammock on his porch, with
a good cigar ! That's it ! A man is nominally mon-
arch in his own family; but only so on that out-
G A D S B Y
standing day upon which a bridal gown is laid out
in all its glory on his parlor sofa, and a small mob
of girls, and occasionally a woman or two, is rush-
ing in and out, up and down stairs, and finding as
much to do as a commonly known microscopic "bug"
of prodigious hopping ability finds at a dog show.
Rush! rush! rush! A thousand thoughts and a mil-
lion words, (this crowd was all girls, you know!)
making that parlor as noisy as a saw mill! But
Gadsby laughingly staid out of it all, watching big
armfuls of bloom and many a curious looking box
go in through that front door ; flying hands rapidly
untying glorious ribbon wrappings.
Now, upon all such occasions you will find,
if you snoop around in dining room or pantry, an
astonishing loaf of culinary art, all fancy frost-
ing, and chuck full of raisins and citron, which is
always cut upon such an auspicious occasion; and
it is as hard to avoid naming it, in this story, as it is
to withstand its assault upon your stomach.
Oh hum! Now what? Aha! May Fourth,
lasting, as Nancy said, "for about a million
months," finally got Gadsby's dining room clock
around to six-fifty; only about an hour, now, to
that grand march past practically half of Bran-
ton Hills' population; for all who couldn't jam into
that commodious church would stand around in a
[ 96 ]
G A D S B Y
solid phalanx, blocking all traffic in that part of
town ; for all Branton Hills was fond of its Mayor's
But, during this rush and hubbub, how about
Frank? Poor boy ! Now, if you think that a young
lad at such an instant is as calm as a mill-pond,
you don't know romantic Youth, that's all. About
forty of Gadsby's old Organization boys, now man-
ly young chaps, had bought him a car, which Nancy
was not to know anything about until that
throwing of old boots, and what is also customary,
had quit. Frank didn't want to hold it back from
Nancy, but what can a chap do, against forty?
Also, last night, at a big "so sorry, old chap" party,
Frank had found how loyal a bunch of old pals can
turn out; and this "grand launching into matri-
monial doubt" had put him in a happy mood for
that all important oration of two words: — "I do."
So now I'll hurry around to church to find
out how Nancy's Organization girls put in a long
day of hard labor; not only at floor work, but up
on stools and chairs. My! My! Just look and
gasp!! A long chain of lilacs runs from door to
altar in two rows. And look at that big arch of
wistaria and narcissus half way along! Artificial
palms stand in curving ranks from organ to walls ;
and, with all lights softly glowing through pink
[ 97 ]
G A D S B Y
silk hoods; and with gilt cords outlining an altar-
dais of moss and sprays of asparagus, it is a sight
to bring a thrill to anybody, young or old.
And, now — aha!! With organist and
Pastor waiting, a murmur and hand-clapping from
that big front door told all who had luckily g t
in that Nancy was coming! It took thirty cars to
bring that bridal party to church ; for not a boy or
girl of our old Organization would miss this occas-
ion for a farm, with a pig on it with four kinks in
its tail. Now, naturally, any girl would long to
walk up that Holy path with Nancy, but too many
would spoil things ; so, by drawing lots, Nancy had
for company, Sarah Young, Lucy Donaldson, Pris-
cilla Standish, Virginia Adams, Doris Johnson and
Cora Grant; with Kathlyn as Maid of Honor, as
charming an array of youthful glory as you could
find in all Branton Hills.
Until this important arrival, Branton Hills'
famous organist, just plain John Smith, was play-
ing softly, — "Just a Song at Twilight," watching
for a signal from Mayor Gadsby; and soon swung
into that famous march which brought foith a
grand thrill, as tiny, blushing, palpitating Nancy
took "Dad's" arm, gazing with shining orbs at that
distant — oh, so distant — altar.
Now I want to know why anybody should
[ 98 ]
G A D S B Y
want to cry on such a grand occasion. What is
sad about it? But many a lash was moist as that
tiny vision of glamorous purity slowly trod that
fragrant pathway. Possibly girls can't avoid it;
anyway, our Branton Hills girls didn't try to do so.
Gadsby, as has many a good old Dad, fought
back any such showing; but I won't say that his
thoughts didn't nag him; for, giving away your
baby girl to any young, though first-class chap, is
not actually fun. But that long, long trail finally
brought him to that mossy dais, at which Frank,
coming in through a handy door, stood waiting.
Nancy was as calm as a wax doll; but Frank
stood shaking with a most annoying cough (of
imaginary origin!) as Pastor Brown stood, book
in hand. Now I won't go through with all that was
said; nor say anything about Nancy's tiny, warm,
soft hand as it was put in Frank's big clumsy fist
by Pastor Brown. Nor about that first Holy kiss;
nor that long, mighty roar of organ music, as our
happy, blushing pair trod that long pathway, door-
wards. You know all about it, anyway, as most such
rituals follow a standard custom. Nor shall I go
into that happy hour at His Honor's mansion, dur-
ing which that fancy loaf of frosting, raisins and
citron was cut; (and which many a girl put in a
pillow that night!); nor of that big bridal bunch
[ 99 ]
G A D S B Y
of blossoms, which was thrown from a stairway
into a happy group of hopping, jumping, laughing
girls. (But I will say, — shhhh! that Kathlyn
caught it!); nor anything of Nancy and Frank's
thrilling trip to Branton Hills' big railway station,
in that gift car which Nancy thought was a king's
chariot; nor of a grand, low bow by old Pat Ryan
of that station's trunk room. It was just that
customary "All aboard!!" a crowd's "Hooray!!"
and "Good Luck!!", with Branton Hills' Municipal
Band a-blaring, and a mighty mob shouting and
[ 100 ]
Oh, hum ! I'll turn from
this happy affair now and try to find out what was
going on in this thriving, hustling city. Now you
probably think of a city as a gigantic thing; for,
if you go up onto a high hill, and look around
across that vast array of buildings, parks, roads
and distant suburbs, you not only think that it is
a gigantic thing, you know it is. But, is it?
Just stop and think a bit. All such things
as bulk, or width, you know by comparison only;
comparison with familiar things. So, just for fun,
go up in an imaginary balloon, about half way to
that old Moon, which has hung aloft from your
birth — (and possibly a day or two in addition) —
and look down upon your "gigantic" city. How
will it look? It is a small patch of various colors;
but you know that, within that tiny patch, many
thousands of your kind hurry back and forth; rail-
way trains crawl out to far-away districts; and, if
you can pick out a grain of dust that stands out
dimly in a glow of sunlight, you may know that it
is your mansion, your cabin or your hut, according
to your financial status. Now, if that hardly shows
up, how about you? What kind of a dot would
[ 101 ]
G A D S B Y
you form in comparison? You must admit that
your past thoughts as to your own pomposity will
shrink just a bit ! All this shows us that could this
big World think, it wouldn't know that such a thing
as Man was on it. And Man thinks that his part
in all this unthinkably vast Cosmos is important!!
Why, you poor shrimp ! if this old World wants to
twitch just a bit and knock down a city or two, or
split up a group of mountains, Man, with all his
brain capacity, can only dash wildly about, dodging
falling bricks. No. You wouldn't show up from
that balloon as plainly as an ant, in crawling around
our Capitol building at Washington.
But why all this talk about our own incon-
spicuosity? It is simply brought up to accompany
Nancy's thoughts as that train shot across country;
for Nancy, until now, had not known anything ap-
proaching such a trip. So this happy, happy trip,
back upon which many a woman looks, with a ro-
mantic thrill, was astounding to such a girl. From
Branton Hills to San Francisco; a boat to Hono-
lulu, Manila, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Colombo, and
finally Cairo. Ah ! Cairo ! ! In thinking of it you
naturally bring up two words — "Pyramids" and
"Sphinx", words familiar from school days. Prac-
tically from birth, Nancy, along with millions of
folks, had known that famous illustration of a thing
[ 102 ]
G A D S B Y
half Hon and half woman ; and a mountainous mass
f masonry, built for a king's tomb. So, stand-
ing right in front of both, Nancy and Frank got
that wondrous thrill coming from attaining a long,
long wish. From Cairo to Italy, Spain, London,
Paris, and that grand Atlantic sail, landing at
Boston, and hustling by fast train (but how slow
it did go!!) to Branton Hills! So, along about
Thanksgiving Day, about half of its population
was again at its big railway station, for Nancy
was coming back. (And Frank, too, if anybody
should ask you.)
And with that big Municipal Band a-boom-
ing and blaring, and the crowd of our old Organi-
zation girls pushing forward, did Branton Hills
look good to Nancy? And did Nancy look good
to Branton Hills? What a glorious tan, from days
and days on shipboard ! And was that old Atlantic
ugly? Ask Frank, poor chap, who, as on that big
Pacific, had found out just what a ship's rail is
for! And that stomachs can turn most amazing
flip-flops if an old boat is too frisky !
In just an instant, actual count, Nancy was
in Lady Gadsby's arms, fighting valiantly to hold
back a flood of big, happy sobs; and Frank was
busy, grabbing a cloud of hands surging towards
[ 103 ]
G A D S B Y
Coming back from a long trip is a happy ^
casion. And it is also mighty good to put a trunk or
a bag down, knowing that it will "stay put" for a
day or two, anyway. That constant packing and
unpacking on a long trip, soon turns into an auto-
matic function; and how Nancy did worry about
what transportation customs in various lands would
do to a first class trunk which has a romantic
history, owing to its coming as a matrimonial gift
from a group of loving girls. But now; ah!!
Put it away, and your things around, in familiar
Long trips do bring lots of fun and informa-
tion ; but a truly long trip is tiring, both in body and
But Nancy and Frank won't stay with Gads-
by long; for, during that trip, a charming bungalow
was built on a lot of Gadsby's, facing City Park;
and Nancy put in many days arranging things in
it. Anybody who has had such joyful work to do,
knows how assiduously a young pair would go about
it; for two young robins carrying bits of cotton
and string up to a criss-cross of twigs in a big
oak, with constant soft, loving chirps, "had noth-
ing," according to our popular slang, on Nancy and
Finally "moving in day" got around, with
[ 104 ] "
G A D S B Y
that customary party, to which you carry a gjift to
add to such things as a young husband on only a
small salary can install. And how gifts did
pour in!! Rugs, chairs, small stands, urns, clocks,
photos in wall mountings, dainty scarfs (all hand-
work by our girls in our Night School), books,
lamps, a "radio" from Station KBH, until, finally,
a big truck found an opportunity in that coming
and going throng to back in and unload an upright
piano, all satin ribbon wrappings, with a card: —
"From Branton Hills' Municipal Band."
[ 105 ]
I could go on for hours
about this starting out of Nancy and Frank, but
many civic affairs await us; for Julius Gadsby,
who has not got into this story up to now, had, from
his constant poring through all kinds of books
of information, built up a thorough insight into
fossils; and you know that Kathlyn is way up in
Biology; which brings in our awkward "bugs"
again. Now bugs will burrow in soil, and always
did, from History's birth ; building catacombs which
at last vanish through a piling up of rocks, sand
or soil on that spot. Now Julius continually ran
across accounts of important "finds" of such fos-
sils, and with Kathlyn's aid was soon inaugurating
popular clamor for a big Hall of Natural History.
This, Julius and Kathlyn thought, would turn
out as popular, in a way, as living animals
out at our Zoo. But an appropriation for
a Hall of Natural History is a hard thing
to jam through a City Council; for though its
occupants call for no food, you can't maintain such
a building without human custody; "which," said
Old Bill Simpkins, "is but a tricky way of saying
CASH ! !" But our Council was by now so familiar
[ 106 ]
G A D S B Y
w ith calls from that famous "Organization", and,
owing to its inborn faith in that grand body of
hustling Youth, such a building was built; Julius
an d Kathlyn arranging all displays of fossil birds,
plants, "bugs," footprints, raindrop marks, worms,
skulls, parts of jaws, and so on. And what a crowd
was on hand for that first public day ! Julius and
Kathlyn took visitors through various rooms, giv-
ing much data upon what was shown; and many a
Branton Hills inhabitant found out a lot of facts
about our vast past; about organisms living so far
back in oblivion as to balk Man's brain to grasp.
Kathlyn stood amongst groups of botanical fossili-
zations, with Gadsby not far away, as this studious
young woman told school pupils how our common
plants of today through various transitions in form,
show a kinship with what now lay, in miraculously
good condition, in this big Hall; and Julius told
staring groups how this or that fossil did actually
link such animals as our cow or walrus of today
with original forms totally apart, both in looks and
habits. And it was comforting to Gadsby to find
pupils asking how long ago this was, and noting
that amazing look as Julius had to say that nobody
Such a building is an addition to any city;
for this big World is so old that human calculation
[ 107 ]
G A D S B Y
cannot fathom it; and it will, in all probability, g
on always. So it is improving a child's mind to
visit such displays; for it will start a train of
thoughts along a path not commonly sought if such
institutions do not stand as attractions. Now, in
any community a crank will bob up, who will, with
loud acclaim and high-sounding words, avow that
it "is a scandalous drain on public funds to put up
such a building just to show a lot of rocks, ani-
mals' ribs and birds' skulls." But such loud bom-
basts only show up an "orator's" brain capacity (or
lack of it), and actually bring studious folks to
ask for just such data upon things which his ridi-
culing had run down. It is an old, old story, that if
you want a city's population to go in strongly for
anything, and you start a loud, bawling campaign
against it, that public will turn to it for information
as to its worth. So, just such a loud, bawling
moron had to drift into our Hall on its inaugura-
tion day, and soon ran smack up against Kathlyn!
That worthy girl, allowing him to "blow off" a
bit, finally said : —
"I know you. You run a stock farm. All
right. You want to know all you can about match-
ing and crossing your stock, don't you? I thought
so. But God did all that, long, oh, so long ago;
gradually producing such animals as you own to-
[ 108 ]
G A D S B Y
jay; and all you can do is to follow along, in your
puny way, and try to avoid a poor quality of stock
mixing with yours. This building contains thous-
ands of God's first works. It won't do you a bit of
harm to look through our rooms. Nothing will jump
out at you !"
At that that barking critic shut up! And
Gadsby slid outdoors, chuckling: —
"That's my girl talking!! That's my Kath-
It is curious why anybody should pooh-pooh
a study of fossils or various forms of rocks or lava.
Such things grant us our only vision into Natural
History's big book; and it isn't a book in first-class
condition. Far from it! Just a tiny scrap; a slip;
or, possibly a big chunk is found, with nothing noti-
fying us as to how it got to that particular point,
nor how long ago. Man can only look at it, lift
it, rap it, cut into it, and squint at it through a mag-
nifying glass. And, — think about it. That's
all; until a formal study brings accompanying
thoughts from many minds; and, by such tactics,
judging that in all probability such and such a rock
or fossil footprint is about so old. Natural His-
tory holds you in its grasp through just this impos-
sibility of finding actual facts; for it is thus caus-
ing you to think. Now, thinking is not only a vol-
[ 109 ]
G A D S B Y
untary function; it is an acquisition; an art. Plants
do not think. Animals probably do, but in a pri-
mary way, such as an aid in knowing poisonous
foods, and how to bring up an offspring with simi-
lar ability. But Man can, and should think, and
think hard and constantly. It is ridiculous to rush
blindly into an action without looking forward to
lay out a plan. Such an unthinking custom is al-
most a panic, and panic is but a mild form of in-
So Kathlyn and Julius did a grand, good
thing in having this Hall as an addition to Branton
Now, in any city or town, or almost any
small community, you will find a building, or pos-
sibly only a room, about which said city or town
has nothing to say. It is that most important in-
stitution in which you put a stamp on your mail
and drop it into a slot, knowing that it will find its
way across city or country to that man or woman
who is waiting for it.
But how many young folks know how this
mail is put out so quickly, and with such guaranty
against loss? Not many, I think, if you ask. So
Gadsby, holding up Youth as a Nation's most im-
portant function in its coming history, thought that
any act which would instruct a child in ary way,
[ no ]
G A D S B Y
was worthy. So, on a Saturday morning His Hon-
or took a group of Grammar School pupils to a
balcony in back of that all-hiding partition, and a
postal official, showing all mail handling acts in-
dividually, said : —
"In this country, two things stand first in
rank: your flag and your mail. You all know what
honor you pay to your flag, but you should know,
also, that your mail, — iust that ordinary postal
card — is also important. But a postal card, or any
form of mail, is not important, in that way, until
you drop it through a slot in this building, and with
a stamp on it, or into a mail box outdoors. Up to
that instant it is but a common card, which any-
body can pick up and carry off without committing
a criminal act. But as soon as it is in back of this
partition, or in a mail box, a magical transforma-
tion occurs ; and anybody who now should willfully
purloin it, or obstruct its trip in any way, will find
prison doors awaiting him. What a frail thing
ordinary mail is ! A baby could rip it apart, but no
adult is so foolish as to do it. That small stamp
which you stick on it, is, you might say, a postal
official, going right along with it, having it always
in his sight."
A giggling girl was curious to know if that
was why a man's photo is on it.
[ 111 ]
G A D S B Y
"Possibly," said our official, laughing. "But
wait a bit. Look downstairs. As your mail f a ll s
in through that slot, or is brought in by a mailman
it is put through an ink-daubing apparatus — that's
it, right down in front of you — which totally ruins
its stamp. How about your man's photo, now ?"
A good laugh rang around, and our official
said : —
"Now a man sorts it according to its inscrip-
tion, puts it into a canvas bag and aboard a train,
or possibly an aircraft. But that bag has mail
going to points a long way apart, so a man in a mail
car sorts it out, so that Chicago won't find mail in
its bag which should go to California."
At this point our giggling girl said : —
"Ooooo! I had a Christmas card for Mis-
souri go way down to Mississippi!"
"How did you mark it?"
"I put M-i-s-s for Missouri."
"Try M-o, and I wish you luck."
As that laugh ran round, our official said : —
"Now you know that you can buy a long,
narrow stamp which will hurry your mail along.
So, as all mail in this building is put up in many a
small bunch, all with such stamps attract a mail-
man, who will so wrap a bunch that that kind of a
stamp will show up plainly. Upon its arrival at
[ 112 ]
G A D S B Y
a distant point, a boy will grab it, and hurry it to
its final goal. But that stamp will not hurry it as
long as it is on that train."
Our giggling girl, swinging in again, said : —
"What? With that stamp right on top?"
"How can it?" said our official. "A train
can only go just so fast, stamp or no stamp."
Our boys and girls got a big thrill from
this visit in back of that partition, and told Gadsby
so. On coming out of that building our party saw
a big patrolman putting a small boy into a patrol
wagon. That poor kid was but a bunch of rags,
dirty, and in a fighting mood. Our boys got a big
laugh out of it. Our girls, though, did not. Young
Marian Hopkins, who had that fairy wand, you
know, at our airport inauguration, said : —
"Oh, that poor child! Will that cop put
him in jail, Mayor Gadsby?" At which His Hon-
or instantly thought of a plan long in his mind.
Branton Hills had a court room, a child's court,
in fact, at which a kindly man looks out for just
such young waifs — trying to find out why such
tots commit unlawful acts. So Gadsby said: —
"I don't know, Marian, but I want you young
folks to go on a visit, tonight, to our night court, to
[ 113 ]
G A D S B Y
find out about just such wild boys. How many
want to go?"
To his satisfaction, all did ; and so, that night
that court room had rows of young folks, all agog
with curiosity which a first visit to a court stirs
up in a child. Just by luck, our young vagrant in
rags was brought in first, shaking with childish
doubt as to what was going to occur. But that
kindly man sitting back of that big mahogany rail-
ing had no thought of scaring a child, and said
calmly : —
"Now, boy, what did you do that you ought
not to do ; and why did you do it ?"
As our boys sat nudging and winking, but
with our girls growing sad from sympathy, our
young culprit said: —
"Aw ! I grabs a bun, and dis big cop grabs
"But why did you grab that bun? It wasn't
yours, you know."
"Gosh, ma.n\\ I was hungry ! f
"Hungry? Don't your folks look out for
"Naw; I do my own looking. And that's
what I was doing, too !"
"What had you for food all day?"
[ 114 ]
G A D S B Y
"Just that bun. And say!! I only got
half of it ! That big cop was so rough !"
"Did that cop, as you call him, hurt you?"
"Hurt!! I should say not!! I put up a
good stiff scrap! I paid him back, blow for blow!
No big gas-bag of a cop is going to wallop this kid
and not pay for it !"
"But, boy, don't your folks bring you up to
know that it is wrong to rob anybody?"
"Naw ! My Dad robs folks, and just got six
months for it. So why shouldn't I? It's all right
to do what your Dad will do, isn't it?"
"Not always, boy," and our girls in row two
and our boys in row four sat sad and glum at this
portrayal of youthful sin. Finally that big kindly
man, thoughtfully rubbing his chin, said: —
"Whom did your Dad rob?"
"I dunno. It was a Ford car. Nobody
wasn't in it, so why not grab it? That's what Dad
said. You can pick up a bit of cash for a car, you
know, boss. And say, if a car brung only six
months, how long will I squat in jail for swiping
this half bun? Aw! Go slow, boss! I ain't no
bad kid ! Only just a hungry mutt. Gosh ! ! How
I wish I had a glass of milk !"
From row two a young, vigorous girlish
form shot out, dashing for a doorway; and as that
[ 115 ]
G A D S B Y
big kindly man was still rubbing his chin, Marian
burst in again, rushing, sobbingly, to that sad bunch
of rags, holding out a pint of milk and two hot bis-
cuits. A quick snatch by two horribly dirty young
hands, a limp flop on a mat at that big mahogany
railing, and a truly hungry child was oblivious to
all around him. And I'll say that our boys, in row
four, had lumpy throats. But finally that big kind-
ly man said: —
"Though taking things unlawfully is wrong,
conditions can occur in which so young a culprit
is not at fault. This young chap has had no bring-
ing up, but has run wild. A child will not know
right from wrong if not taught ; and, as it is a pri-
mary animal instinct to obtain food in any way, I
will simply put this boy in a school which Branton
Hills maintains for just such youths."
At this both row two and row four burst
out in such a storm of hand-clapping that Gadsby
found that this visit had shown his young folks,
from actual contact with a child without training,
how important child-raising is; and how proud a
city is of such as act according to law.
[ 116 ]
In almost any big town,
around Autumn, you will annually run across that
famous agricultural show known as a County Fair ;
and, as Branton Hills had a big park, which you
know all about, right in front of Nancy's and
Frank's small bungalow, it was a most natural
spot for holding it. And so, as this happy pair's
third Autumn got around, stirring activity in that
big park also got a-going; for railings for stock-
yards don't grow all built; yards and yards of
brown canvas don't just blow into a park; nor do
"hot dog" and popcorn stands jump up from noth-
ing. And Nancy, rocking on that bungalow porch,
could watch all this work going on. And rocking
was about all that Nancy could, or, I should say,
should do, just now.
What a sight it was! Trucks; small cars;
wagons; a gang with a tractor plowing up hard
spots; a gang picking up rocks, grading humpy
spots, and laying out ground plans. Masons build-
ing walls, and all kinds of goods arriving, by tons.
But out of all that confusion and ado a canvas
town will grow, strung from top to bottom with
gaily flapping flags and hanging bunting, and that
[ 117 ]
G A D S B Y
customary "mid-way" with its long rows of gaudy
billboards, in front of which circus ballyhoo artists
will continuously bawl and shout out claims about
sword-swallowing, tattooing, hula-hula dancing
boa constrictor charming, or a Punch and Judy
At a County Fair two things stand out as
most important: farm stock and that oval track
around which swiftly trotting colts will thrill thous-
ands; and, I'll say, shrink a bank account or two!
But, of all sights, I don't know of any with such
drawing ability for kids as just such a carnival
lot. So, daily, as soon as school was out, throngs of
happy, shouting, hopping, jumping boys and girls
would dash for that big park ; looking, pointing, and
climbing up on auto tops, into lofty oaks, onto tall
rocks, or a pal's back ; for if anything is difficult for
a boy to obtain a sight of, nothing in climbing that
an orang-outang can do, will balk him !
So Nancy sat calmly rocking, rocking, rock-
ing, and, — but, pardon! I'll go on with this story.
All I know is that Frank, arriving from work at
Radio Station KBH, wouldn't so much as look at
that big carnival lot, but would rush in, in a most
loving, solicitous way which always brought a kiss
and a blush from Nancy. Now if I don't quit talk-
ing about this young pair you won't know anything
[ 118 ]
G A D S B Y
about that big show going up in front of that happy
bungalow. Almost daily Lady Gadsby would drop
in on Nancy, bringing all sorts of dainty foods ; and
His Honor, with Kathlyn, Julius and Bill, paid
"But that fair !" you say. "How about that
Ah ! It was a fair, I'll say ! What mobs on
that first day! And what a din!! Bands playing,
ballyhoos shouting, popcorn a-popping, "hot dogs"
a-sizzling, ducks squawking, cows lowing, pigs
grunting, an occasional baby squalling; and 'midst
it all, a choking cloud of dust, a hot Autumn wind,
panting, fanning matrons, cussing husbands; all
working toward that big oval track at which all
had a flimsy possibility of winning a million or two
(or a dollar or two !) . Oh, you County Fairs ! You
bloom in your canvas glory, annually. You draw
vast crowds; you show high quality farm stock,
gigantic pumpkins, thousands of poultry, includ-
ing our "Thanksgiving National Bird". You fill
coops with fancy squabs, fat rabbits, and day-old
chicks. You show many forms of incubators,
churns, farming apparatus, pumps, plows, lighting
plants for small farms, windmills, "bug" poisons,
and poultry foods. And you always add a big bal-
loon, which you anchor, so that kids may soar aloft
[ H9 ]
G A D S B Y
until a windlass pulls it down. You fill us with food
that would kill a wild goat, but you still last ! And
may you always do so; for, within your flapping
bulging canvas walls, city man rubs against town
man, rich and poor girls bump, snobs attain no
right of way , and a proud, happy boy or girl shows
a "First Class" satin ribbon which a lovingly
brought-up calf or poultry brood has won.
Only a satin ribbon, but, displaying it to a
group of admiring young pals brings to a child that
natural thrill from accomplishing anything worthy
of public acclaim. Such thrills will not crowd in
as Maturity supplants Youth; and so I say, "a trio
of our customary huzzas" for any child who can
carry away a satin ribbon from a County Fair.
But what about our good Mayor during all
this circus hullabaloo ? Did important thoughts for
still improving Bran ton Hills pass through his busy
mind? Not just now; but fond, anxious thoughts
did; for his mind was constantly on Nancy; tiny,
darling Nancy, his baby girl. For, during that
noisy carnival, folks saw (or thought so, you
know), a big bird with long shanks and a mon-
strous bill, circling round and round that small
bungalow's roof, plainly looking for a spot to land
on. Lady Gadsby and old Doctor Wilkins saw it,
too, and told Nancy that that big hospital which
[ 120 ]
G A D S B Y
o0 r old Organization had built, was holding a room
for instant occupancy; and, as that big bird daily
s wung down, down, down, almost grazing that small
roof, Frank, poor chap, as shaky as at his church
ritual, thirty months ago, staid away from Radio
Station KBH, and stuck to that small bungalow as
a fly sticks around a sugar bowl.
Finally, on a crisp Autumn night, that soar-
ing bird shot straight down with such an assuring
swoop, that old Doc Wilkins, indoors with Nancy,
saw it and said, quickly : —
"On your way, Nancy girl ! !" and that part
of Branton Hills saw his car racing hospitalwards,
with Lady Gadsby fondly patting Nancy's tiny, cold
hands, and saying just such loving things as a wo-
man would, naturally, to a young girl on such a
trip. But Gadsby and Frank? Ah! Poor, half-
crazy things ! No car would do at all ! No, sir!!
A car was far too slow ! And so, across lots, down
into many a man's yard, and jumping high walls,
shot two shadowy forms, arriving at that big hos-
pital, badly blown, just as Lady Gadsby and old
Doc Wilkins took Nancy's arms, and got slowly
to that big door with its waiting rolling chair.
Now this stork's visit is nothing out of or-
dinary in World affairs. Millions and billions of
visits has it, and its kind, flown — to king's mansion
[ 121 ]
G A D S B Y
or a black Zulu woman's hut. But this flight was
poor Frank's initiation to that awful hour of blank
panic, during which a young husband is boiling
hot or icy cold in turn. God ! ! How still a hospital
corridor is!! How doctors and assistants do float
past without as much sound as falling snow! Oh!
How long Frank and His Honor sat, stood, or trod
up and down, watching that room door ! ! What
was going on ? Was Nancy all right ? Oh ! ! Why
this prolonging of agonizing inactivity ? Can't any-
body say anything? Isn't anybody around, at all?
But hospital doctors and nursing staffs, though
pitying a young chap, must pass him up for that
tiny lady, who now was but a tool in God's hands ; in
God's magic laboratory. And so Ah!! Doctor
Wilkins is coming — and smiling!!
"A baby girl — and with a ripping good pair
of lungs!" but has to jump quick to catch Frank,
who has sunk in a swoon. And Mayor Gadsby's
collar is as limp as a dish-rag !
Ah! Man, man, man! and woman, woman,
woman! Just you two! God's only parts in His
mighty plan for living actuality. Not only with
Man and animals, but also down, — way, way
down amongst plants. Just two parts. Only two ! !
And Baby, you tiny bunch of wriggling, gurgling
humanity, by that slowly ticking clock is your turn
t 122 ]
D S B
in this mighty World, unavoidably arriving. Ma-
ma, Papa, and all of us will go on, for a bit, grow-
ing old and gray, but you, now so young and frail,
w ill stand sturdily, and willingly, in our vacancy;
and carry on God's will !
[ 123 ]
As this is a history f
a city I must not stay around any part too long.
So, as it was almost "a small morning hour," Nina
Adams, a widow, was sitting up; for Virginia, a
High School girl, was still out; and, around two-
thirty, was brought back in a fast car; two youths
actually dumping an unconscious form on Nina's
front porch, and dashing madly away. But Nina
Adams saw it; and, calling for aid in carrying
Virginia indoors, put in a frantic call for old Doc
Wilkins, an old, long-ago school pal, who found
Nina frantic from not knowing Virginia's condition,
nor why the pair of youths shot madly away with-
out calling anybody. But it only took Doctor Wil-
kins an instant to find out what was wrong; and
Nina, noting his tight lips and growing scowl was
in an agony of doubt.
"What is it, Tom? Quick!! I'm almost
crazy ! !"
Dr. Wilkins, standing by Virginia's couch,
said, slowly: —
"It's nothing to worry about, Nina. Virgin-
ia will pull through all right, by morning."
But that didn't satisfy Nina Adams, not for
[ 124 ]
G A D S B Y
a n instant, and Dr. Wilkins, knowing that iron-
clad spirit of school days which would stand for
n o obstructions in its path, saw that a "blow-up"
was coming; but, through a kindly thought for this
woman's comfort, did not say what his diagnosis
was, until Nina, now actually livid with worry,
said : —
"Tom Wilkins! Doctor Wilkins, if you
wish, — I claim a natural right to know why my
child is unconscious! And you, a physician, can-
not, by law, withhold such information ! !"
But Wilkins, trying to find a way out of a
most unhappy condition of affairs, said : —
"Now, Nina, you know I wouldn't hold any-
thing from you if Virginia was critically ill, but
that is not so. If you'll only wait until morning
you'll find that I am right."
But this only built obstruction upon obstruc-
tion to Nina's strong will, until Dr. Wilkins, notic-
ing coming total prostration, had to say: —
"Nina, Virginia is drunk; horribly drunk."
"Drunk! T Widow Adams had to grab
wildly at a chair, sinking into it; at first as limp as
a rag, but instantly springing up, blood surging to
a throbbing brow. "Drunk! Drunk!! My
baby drunk ! ! Tom, I thank you for trying to ward
off this shock ; but I'll say right now, with my hand
[ 125 ]
G A D S B Y
on high, that I am going to start a rumpus about
this atrocity that will rock Branton Hills to its foun-
dations! Who got this young school-girl drunk?
I know that Virginia wouldn't drink that stuff will-
ingly. How could it occur? I pay through taxa-
tion for a patrolman in this district; in fact in all
districts of this city. What is a patrolman for, if
not to watch for just such abominations as this,
Dr. Wilkins didn't say, though probably
thinking of a rumor that had run around town for a
month or two. At this point Virginia, partly con-
scious, was murmuring: —
"Oh, Norman! Don't!! I can't drink it!
Oh ! I'm so sick ! !"
This brought forth all of Nina Adams' fury
"Aha! Aha! Norman! So that's it!
That's Norman Antor, that low-down, good-
for-nothing night-owl ! Son of our big Councilman
Antor. So!! It's 'Norman! I can't drink it'!
Tom Wilkins, this thing is going to court .'T
About noon of that day, our good doctor,
walking sadly along, ran across Mayor Gadsby, in
[ 126 ]
G A D S B Y
front of City Hall; and did His Honor "burn" at
such an abomination?
"What? High School boys forcing young
girls to drink? And right in our glorious Branton
Hills? Oh, but, Doc! This can't pass without a
"That's all right, John; but a thorn sticks
out, right in plain sight."
"Thorn? Thorn? What kind of a thorn?"
and our Mayor was flushing hard, as no kind of
wild thoughts would point to any kind of thorns.
"That thorn," said Wilkins, "is young Nor-
man Antor; son of "
"Not of Councilman Antor f
"I am sorry to say that it is so," and Wilkins
told of Virginia's half-conscious murmurings.
"And Nina wants to know why, with a patrolman
in all parts of town, it isn't known that all this
drinking is going on. I didn't say what I thought,
but you know that a patrolman don't go into danc-
ing pavilions and night clubs until conditions sanc-
"Who is supplying this liquor?"
"Councilman Antor; but without knowing
All His Honor could say was to gasp: —
"How do you know that, Doc?" and Wilkins
[ 127 ]
G A D S B Y
told of four calls for him in four days, to young
girls, similarly drunk.
"And my first call was to young Mary
Antor's tiny Grammar School kid, who was as
drunk as Virginia ; but, on coming out of it, told of
robbing Antor's pantry, in which liquor was al-
ways on hand for his politicial pals, you know; that
poor kid taking it to various affairs and giving it to
boys; and winning 'popularity' that way."
"So," said Gadsby, "Councilman Antor's
boy and girl, brought up in a family with liquor al-
ways handy, now, with ignorant, childish bragga-
docio, bring Councilman Antor into this mix-up!
I'm sorry for Antor ; but his pantry is in for an of-
It wasn't so long from this day that Court
got around to this rumpus. To say that that big
room was full, would put it mildly. Although, ac-
cording to an old saying, "a cat is only as big as
its skin," that room's walls almost burst, as groups
of church organizations and law abiding inhabi-
tants almost fought for admission; until standing
room was nothing but a suffocating jam. As Gads-
by and Doc Wilkins sat watching that sight, Gads-
by said : —
"It's an outpouring of rightful wrath by a
proud city's population; who, having put out good,
[ 128 ]
G A D S B Y
hard work in bringing it to its high standing as a
community, today, will not stand for anything that
will put a blot on its municipal flag, which is, right
now, proudly flying on City Hall."
As Wilkins was about to say so, a rising
murmur was rolling in from out back, for Norman
Antor was coming in, in custody of a big patrolman,
and with four youths, all looking, not only anxious,
but plainly showing humiliation at such an abomi-
nation against trusting young girlhood. Scowls
and angry rumblings told that high official, way up
in back of that mahogany railing, that but a spark
would start a riot. So, in a calm, almost uncanny
way, this first trial of its kind in Branton Hills got
along to a court official calling, loudly : —
"Virginia Adams ! !"
If you think that you know what a totally
still room is, by no kink of your imagination could
you possibly know such an awful, frightful hush
as struck that crowd dumb, as Virginia, a tall, dark,
willowy, stylish girl quickly took that chair, from
which Truth, in all its purity, is customarily
brought out. But Virginia was not a bit shaky nor
anxious, nor doubtful of an ability to go through
with this ugly task.
Gadsby and Doc Wilkins sat watching Nina ;
Gadsby with profound sympathy, but Wilkins with
[ 129 ]
G A D S B Y
an old school-pal's intuition, watching for a blow
up. But Nina didn't blow up, that is, not visibly
but that famous rigid will was boiling, full tilt
boiling up to a point for landing, "tooth and claw'
on our pompous Councilman's son, if things didn't
turn out satisfactorily.
Virginia didn't occupy that stand long; it
was only a half-sobbing account of a night at a
dancing pavilion; and with a sob or two from a
woman or girl in that vast crowd. All Virginia
said was : —
"Norman Antor said I was a cry-baby if I
wouldn't drink with him. But I said, 'All right; I
am a cry-baby! And I always will turn 'cry-
baby' if anybody insists that I drink that stuff."
(Just a short lull, a valiant fight for control, and)
— "But I had to drink ! ! Norman was tipping
my chair back and John Allison was forcing that
glass into my mouth ! I got so sick I couldn't stand
up, and didn't know a thing until I found I was on
a couch in my own parlor."
A court official said, kindly: —
"That will do, Miss Adams."
During this, Nina was glaring at Norman;
but Virginia's bringing Allison into it, also, was
too much. But Wilkins, watching narrowly, said,
snappingly : —
t 130 ]
G A D S B Y
"Nina! This is a court room!'
Now this trial was too long to go into, word
for word; so I'll say that not only Norman Antor
a nd Allison, but also our big, pompous Councilman
Antor, according to our popular slang, "got in
bad"; and Branton Hills' dancing and night spots
got word to prohibit liquor or shut up shop. Young
Mary Antor was shown that liquor, in dancing
pavilions or in a family pantry was not good for
young girls ; and soon this most disgusting affair
was a part of Branton Hills' history. And what
vast variations a city's history contains! What
valorous acts by far-thinking officials ! What dark
daubs of filth by avaricious crooks ! What an array
of past Mayors ; what financial ups and downs ; what
growth in population. But, as I am this particular
city's historian, with strict orthography control-
ling it, this history will not rank, in volubility, with
any by an author who can sow, broadcast, all handy,
common words which continuously try to jump in-
[ 131 ]
Branton Hills, now
an up-to-today city, coming to that point of motor-
izing all city apparatus, had just a last, solitary
company of that class which an inhabitant fran-
tically calls to a burning building — Company Four
in our big shopping district ; all apparatus of which
was still animal drawn ; four big, husky chaps : two
blacks and two roans. Any thought of backing in
any sort of motor apparatus onto this floor, upon
which this loyal four had, during many months,
stood, champing at bits, pawing and whinnying to
start out that big door, in daylight or night-gloom,
calm or storm, — was mighty tough for old Dowd
and Clancy. A man living day and night with
such glorious, vivacious animals, grows to look
upon such as almost human. Bright, brainy,
sparkling colts can win a strong hold on a man, you
And now ! ! What form of disposal was
awaiting "Big Four", as Clancy and Dowd took a
fond joy in dubbing this pair of blacks and two
roans? Clancy and Dowd didn't know anything
but that a mass of cogs, piping, brass railings, an
[ 132 ]
G A D S B Y
intricacy of knobs, buttons, spark-plugs, forward
clutch and so forth was coming tomorrow.
"Aw!f said Dowd, moaningly, "you know,
Clancy, that good old light shifting about and that
light 'stomping' in that row of stalls, at night ; you
know, old man, that happy crunching of corn; that
occasional cough; that tail^swatting at a fly or
crazy zigzagging moth; that grand animal odor
from that back part of this floor."
"I do," said Clancy. "And now what? A
loud whizz of a motor ! A suffocating blast of gas !
and a dom thing a-standin' on this floor, wid no
brain; wid nothin' lovin' about it. Wid no soul."
"Um-m-m," said Dowd, "I dunno about an
animal havin' a soul, but it's got a thing not so dom
far from it."
As Clancy sat worrying about various forms
of disposal for Big Four, an official phoning from
City Hall, said just an ordinary, common word,
which had Clancy hopping up and down, furiously
"What's all this? What's all this?" Dowd
sang out, coming from a stall, in which a good rub-
bing down of a shiny coat, and continuous loving
pats had brought snuggling and nosing.
"Auction!!" said Clancy, wildly, and sitting
down with a thud.
[ 133 ]
G A D S B Y
"Auction? Auction for Big Four? What?
Put up on a block as you would a Jap urn or a phony
"Uh-huh; that's what City Hall says."
An awful calm slunk insidiously onto that
big smooth floor, as Dowd and Clancy, chins on
hands, sat, — just thinking! Finally Clancy burst
out with: —
"Aw ! If an alarm would only ring in, right
now, to stop my brain from cracking! Auction!
T* *?* *C *T*
A big crowd stood in City Park, including
His Honor, many a Councilman, and, naturally.
Old Bill Simpkins, who was always bound to know
what was going on. A loud, fast-talking man, on
a high stand, was shouting: —
"All right, you guys! How much? How
much for this big black? A mountain of muscular
ability! Young, kind, willing, smart! How much?
Bids abominably low at first, but slowly
crawling up; crawling slowly, as a boa constrictor
crawls up on its victim. But, without fail, as a bid
was sung out from that surging, gawking, chin-
lifting mob, a woman, way in back, would surpass
it! And that woman hung on, as no boa constric-
t 134 ]
G A D S B Y
tor could! Gadsby, way down in front, couldn't
fathom it, at all. Why should a woman want Big
Four? A solitary animal, possibly, but four! So
His Honor, turning and making his way toward
that back row, ran smack into Nancy.
"Daddy! Lady Standish is outbidding all
"Oho! So that's it!"
So Gadsby, pushing his way again through
that jam, and coming to that most worthy woman,
said : —
"By golly, Sally! It's plain that you want
"John Gadsby, you ought to know that I
do. Why! A man might buy that big pair of
roans to hitch up to a plow ! Or hook a big black
onto an ash cart!"
"I know that, Sally, but that small back
yard of yours is "
"John!! Do your Municipal occupations
knock all past days' doings out of your skull? You
know that I own a grand, big patch of land out in
our suburbs, half as big as Branton Hills. So this
Big Four will just run around, jump, roll, kick,
and loaf until doomsday, if I can wallop this mob
out of bidding."
As Lady Standish was long known as
[ 135 ]
G A D S B Y
standing first in valuation on Branton Hills' tax
list, nobody in that crowd was so foolish as to
hang on, in a war of bidding, against that bank-
roll. So Gadsby shook hands, put an arm about
Nancy, walking happily away, as a roar of plaud-
its shot out from that crowd, for that loud, fast-
talking man was announcing: —
"Sold! All four to Lady Standishlf
As Gadsby and Nancy ran across Old Bill
Simpkins, Gadsby said: —
"Bill, you know that grand old . day.
Look! A building is burning! A patrolman has
put in an alarm! And now look! Coming down
Broadway! Two big blacks, and following on,
two big roans ! What grand, mighty animals !
Nostrils dilating; big hoofs pounding; gigantic
flanks bulging; mighty lungs snorting; monstrous
backs straining; thick, full tails standing straight
out. Coming, sir ! Coming, sir ! ! Just as fast as
brain and brawn can! And that gong-clanging,
air-splitting, whistling, shining, sizzling, smoking
four tons of apparatus roars past, grinding and
banging on Broadway's paving ! You saw all that,
"Uh-huh," said Simpkins, "but a motor
don't hurt our paving so much."
[ 136 ]
G A D S B Y
As Nancy took His Honor's arm again,
Gadsby said: —
"Poor, cranky old Bill ! Always running
But how about Clancy and Dowd ? On mov-
ing out from that big park, that happy pair, if
Knighthood was in bloom today, would bow low,
and kiss fair Lady Standish's hand.
[ 137 ]
Oh, hum. Now that
Nancy's baby is gurgling or squalling, according
to a full tummy, or tooth conditions; and Nancy is
looking, as Gadsby says, "as good as a million dol-
lars," I find that that busy young son-of-a-gun,
Dan Cupid, is still snooping around Branton Hills.
And now who do you think is hit ? Try to think of
a lot of girls in Gadsby's old Organization of
Youth. No, it's not Sarah Young, nor Lucy Don-
aldson, nor Virginia Adams. It was brought to
your historian in this way : —
Lady Gadsby and His Honor sat around his
parlor lamp, His Honor noticing that Lady G. was
smiling, finally saying: —
"Kathlyn and John Smith, "
"I said that Kathlyn and John Smith want
"Oho! Aha!! I'll call up Pastor Brown
to start right off dolling up his big church !"
"No, no! Not now! Wait about six
[ 138 ]
G A D S B Y
months. This is only a troth. Folks don't jump
into matrimony, that way."
"Hm-m-m ! I don't know about that," said
Gadsby, laughing; and thinking way back to that
John Smith was Branton Hills' famous
church organist; and, at a small, dainty lunch,
Kathlyn told of this troth. In a day or two about
all Branton Hills' young girlhood had, on rushing
in, told Kathlyn what a grand chap John was; and
all that town's young manhood had told John simi-
lar things about Kathlyn. So, as this is a jumpy sort
of a story, anyway, why not skip months of happy
ardor, and find how this tying of an additional knot
in our Mayor's family will turn out? You know
that Kathlyn don't think much of pomp or show,
and such a big church ritual as Nancy had is all
right if you want it, but Kathlyn had fond thoughts
of just a small, parlor affair, with only a group of
old chums; and no throwing of old boots, and
"sharp food-grains," which work downward, to
scratch your back, or stick in your hair as stub-
bornly as burrs.
"Such crazy doings," said Kathlyn, "always
look foolish. It's odd how anybody can follow up
such antiquarian customs."
As Kathlyn's big night was drawing nigh,
[ 139 ]
G A D S B Y
Lady Gadsby and Nancy had constantly thought
of a word synonymous with "woman", and that
word is "scrub." Which is saying that Gadsby's
mansion was about to submit to a gigantic scrub-
bing, painting, dusting, and so forth, so that Kath-
lyn should start out on that ship of matrimony
from a spic-span wharf. Just why a woman
thinks that a grain of dust in a totally inconspic-
uous spot is such a catastrophic abnormality is
hard to say ; but if you simply broach a thought that
a grain of it might lurk in back of a piano, or up
back of an oil painting, a flood of soap-suds will
instantly burst forth; and any man who can find
any of his things for four days is a clairvoyant, or
a magician !
As Gadsby sat watching all this his thoughts
took this form : —
"Isn't it surprising what an array of things
a woman can drag forth, burrowing into attics,
rooms and nooks ! Things long out of mind ; an old
thing; a worn-out thing; but it has lain in that room,
nook or bag until just such a riot of soap and scrub-
bing brush brings it out. And, as I think of it, a
human mind could, and should go through just such
a ransacking, occasionally; for you don't know half
of what an accumulation of rubbish is kicking
about, in its dark, musty corridors. Old fashions in
[ HO ]
G A D S B Y
thoughts; bigotry; vanity; all lying stagnant. So
why not drag out and sort all that stuff, discard-
ing ah which is of no valuation? About half of
us will find, in our minds, a room, having on its
door a card, saying: "It Was Not So In My Day."
Go at that room, right off. That "My Day" is long
past. "Today" is boss, now. If that "My Day"
could crawl up on "Today," what a mix-up in World
affairs would occur! Ox cart against aircraft; oil
lamps against arc lights! Slow, mail information
against radio ! But, as all this stuff is laid out, what
will you do with it? Nobody wants it. So I say,
burn it, and tomorrow morning, how happy you will
find that musty old mind !"
But His Honor's mansion finally got back
to normal as clouds of dust and swats and slaps
from dusting cloths had shown Lady Gadsby and
Kathlyn that "that parlor was simply awful" though
Gadsby, Julius and Bill always had thought that
"It looks all right," causing Kathlyn to say : —
"A man thinks all dust stays outdoors."
Though marrying off a girl in church is a
big proposition, it can't discount, in important data,
doing a similar act in a parlor; for, as a parlor is
a mighty small room in comparison with a church,
you can't point to an inch of it that won't do its
small part on such an occasion; so a woman will
[ 141 ]
G A D S B Y
find about a thousand spots in which to put tacks
from which to run strings holding floral chains
sprays, or small lights. So Gadsby, Bill and Julius
with armfuls of string and mouthfuls of tacks, nor
only put in hours at pounding said tacks, but an
occasional vigorous word told that a thumb was
substituting! But what man wouldn't gladly bang
his thumb, or bark his shins on a wobbly stool, to
aid so charming a girl as Kathlyn? And, on that
most romantically important of all days!!
Anyway, that day's night finally cast its
soft shadows on Branton Hills. Night, with its
twinkling stars, its lightning-bugs, and its call for
girls' most glorious wraps; and youths' "swallow-
tails", and tall silk hats, — is Cupid's own; lacking
but organ music to turn it into Utopia.
And was Gadsby's mansion lit up from
porch to roof? No. Only that parlor and a room
or two upstairs, for wraps, mascarra, a final hair-
quirk, a dab of lip-stick; for Kathlyn, against all
forms of "vain display," said: —
"I'm only going to marry a man; not put
on a circus for all Branton Hills."
"All right, darling," said Gadsby, "you shall
marry in a pitch dark room if you wish; for, as
you say, a small, parlor affair is just as binding as
[ 142 ]
G A D S B Y
a big church display. It's only your vows that
So but a small group stood lovingly in Gads-
by's parlor, as Parson Brown brought into unity
Kathlyn and John. Kathlyn was radiantly happy;
and John, our famous organist, was as happy with
only charming Sarah Young at an upright piano,
as any organist in a big choir loft.
But to Lady Gadsby and His Honor, this
was, in a way, a sad affair; for that big mansion
now had lost two of its inhabitants; and, as many
old folks know, a vast gap, or chasm thus forms,
backward across which flit happy visions of laugh-
ing, romping, happy girlhood; happy hours around
a sitting room lamp; and loving trips in night's
small hours to a room or two, just to know that a
small girl was all right, or that a big girl was not
in a draft. But, though marrying off a girl will
bring such a vacancy, that happy start out into a
world throbbing with vitality and joy, can allay a
bit of that void in a big mansion, or a small cabin.
A birth, a tooth, a growth, a mating; and, again a
birth, a tooth, and so on. Such is that mighty Law,
which was laid down on that first of all days; and
which will control Man, animal, and plant until that
last of all nights.
So it was first Nancy, and now Kathlyn;
[ 143 ]
G A D S B Y
and Branton Hills' gossips thought of Bill and
Julius, with whom many a young, romantic maid
would gladly sit in a wistaria-drooping arbor on
a warm, moon-lit night; flighty maids with Bill
adoring his high class social gossip ; studious maids
with Julius, finding much to think about in his prac-
tical talks on physics, zoology, and natural history.
But Bill and Julius had shown no liability of biting
at any alluring bait on any matrimonial hook; and
Gadsby, winking knowingly, would say: —
"Bill is too frivolous, just now; and Julius
too busy at our Hall of Natural History. But just
wait until Dan Cupid starts shooting again, and
watch things whiz!"
[ 144 ]
Sarah, walking along
past City Park on a raw, cold night, found a tiny, —
oh so tiny, — puppy, whining, shaking and crying
with cold. Picking up that small bunch of baby-
hood, Sarah was in quandary as just what to do;
but Priscilla Standish, coming along, said: —
"Oh! Poor baby!! Who owns him,
"I don't know; but say! Wouldn't your
"My Ma would!.' Bring him along, and
wrap your cloak around him . It's awfully cold for
so young a puppy."
So Lady Standish, with that "back-yard
zoo" soon had his quaking babyship lapping good
warm milk, and a stumpy tail wagging as only a
tiny puppy's stumpy tail can wag. Along towards
six o'clock a vigorous pounding on Lady Standish's
front door brought Priscilla, to find Old Bill Simp-
kins with a tiny, wildly sobbing girl of about four.
Walking into Lady Standish's parlor, Simpkins
said : —
"This kid has lost a-a-a-crittur ; I think it
was a pup, wasn't it, kid?"
[ H5 ]
G A D S B Y
A vigorous up and down bobbing of a small
shock of auburn hair.
"So," said Simpkins, "I thought it might
show up in your back-yard gang."
"It has, Bill, you old grouch! 7" for Lady
Standish, as about all of Branton Hills' grown-ups
was in school with Bill. "It's all right, now, and
warm and cuddly. Don't cry, Mary darling. Pris-
cilla will bring in your puppy."
As that happy baby sat crooning to that pup-
py, also a baby, Old Bill had to snort out : —
"Huh ! A lot of fuss about a pup, I'll say !"
"Oh, pooh-pooh, Bill Simpkins!" said Lady
S. "Why shouldn't a child croon to a puppy? Folks
bring all kinds of animals to my back yard, if sick
or hurt. Want to walk around my zoo?"
"No!! No zoos for Councilman Simpkins!
Animals ain't worth so much fuss !"
"Pshaw, Bill! You talk ridiculously! I
wish you could know of about half of my works.
I want to show you a big Angora cat. A dog bit its
foot so I put a balm on it and wound it with cotton
"You put balm on a cat's foot ! ! Bahf
But Lady Standish didn't mind Old Bill's
ravings having known him so long; so said: —
[ 146 ]
G A D S B Y
"Oh, how's that old corn of yours? Can't
I put a balm "
"No! You cannot! Mary, bring your pup;
I'm going along."
As a happy tot was passing out that big,
kindly front door, Sarah said : —
"Was Councilman Simpkins always so
grouchy, Lady Standish?"
"No. Not until John Gadsby 'cut him out'
and won Lady Gadsby."
"Aha!! And a Ho, Ho!!" said Sarah,
laughing gayly. "So folks had what you call 'af-
fairs' way back, just as today !" and also laughing
inwardly, at what Lucy had said about this kindly
Lady Standish and His Honor.
Ah ! That good old schoolday, now so long
past ! How it bobs up, now-a-days, if you watch a
young lad and a happy, giggling lass holding hands
or laughing uproariously at youthful witticisms.
And how diaphanous and almost imaginary that
far-back day looks, if that girl with whom you stood
up and said "I do," laughs, if you try a bit of
romantic kissing, and says : —
"Why, John ! How silly ! You act actually
childish ! !"
^ ^n ^h ^h
And now it won't do any harm to hark back
t 147 J
G A D S B Y
a bit on this history, to find how our big Night
School is doing. Following that first graduation
day, many and many a child, and adult, too, had put
in hours on various nights; and if you visit it you
will find almost as many forms of instruction going
on as you will find pupils; for thousands of folks
today know of topics which, with a bit of study
could turn out profitably. Now Branton Hills had
as you know, built this school for public instruction ;
and, as with all such institutions, visiting days oc-
cur. And what a display of goods and workman-
ship! And what bright, happy pupils, standing
proudly back of it! For mankind knows hardly a
joy which will surpass that of approval of his work.
Gadsby's party first took in a wood-working
shop; finding small stands which fit so happily into
many a living room nook; book racks for walls or
floor; moth-proof bins, smoking stands, many with
fancy uprights or inlaid tops; high chairs for tiny
tots; arm chairs for old folks; cribs, tobacco humi-
dors, stools, porch and lawn swings, ballbats, roll-
ing pins, mixing boards ; in fact about anything that
a man can fashion from wood.
As an indication of practical utility coming
from such public instruction, a man told Gadsby : —
"I didn't know much about wood-working
tools until I got into this class. This thing I am
[ 148 ]
G A D S B Y
making would cost about thirty dollars to buy, but
a ll it cost, so far, is two dollars and a half, for
wood and glass," which Gadsby thought was worth
knowing about; as so many of his Council had put
forth so many complaints against starting such a
school without charging for instruction. In an ad-
joining room His Honor's party found boys bang-
ing and pounding happily; and, if you should ask,
— noisily, — on brasswork: making bowls, trays,
lamp standards, photograph stands, book supports
and similar artistic things. Across from that was a
blacksmith shop, with its customary flying sparks
and sizzling cooling-vats.
But, by going upstairs, away from all this
din, Gadsby, humming happily, found Sarah and
Lucy, Nancy and Kathlyn amidst a roomful of
girls doing dainty fancy-work. And what astonish-
ing ability most of that group did show! Nancy
bought a baby-cap which was on a par with any-
thing in Branton Hills' shops ; and though Kathlyn
said it was "just too cunning for anything", John
Smith's bungalow didn't contain anybody (just
now!) whom it would fit.
But Lady Gadsby, with a party of Branton
Hills matrons, was calling for Gadsby to hurry
down a long corridor to a loom-room, saying that
such dainty rugs, mats and scarfs of cotton and
[ 149 ]
G A D S B Y
silk hung all around on walls or racks, it was truly
astonishing that girls could do such first-class
work, having had long hours of labor in Broad-
way's shops all day.
Although most of our standard occupations
found room for activity, an occasional oddity was
run across. So His Honor's party found two boys
and two girls working at that always fascinating
art of glass-blowing. And what a dainty trick it is !
And what an opportunity to burn a thumb or two,
if you don't wait for things to cool! Things of
charming form and fragility, grow as by a magic-
ian's wand, from small glass tubings of various
colors. Birds with glorious wings, ships of crystal
sailing on dark billows, tiny buildings in a thick
glass ball which upon agitation, stirs up a snow-
storm which softly lands on pink roof-tops ; many a
fancy drinking glass and bowl, oil lamps, ash trays,
and gaudy strings of tiny crystal balls for adorn-
ing party gowns. And did Nancy want to buy out
this shop? And did Frank doubt his ability to do
so? And did Kathlyn ask: "How about it, John-
ny?" and did John Smith say: "Nothing doing"?
It was just that. But it only shows that good old
Branton Hills' inclination for aiding anything
which looks worthy; and such a school I know you
will admit, looks that way.
G A D S B Y
Tramping upstairs, still again, Gadsby and
party found a class so varying from all downstairs
aS to bring forth murmurs of joy, for this was
known as "Music Floor"; upon which was taught
all forms of that most charming of all arts — from
solo work to community singing, from solitary vio-
lin pupil to a full brass band. On our party's ar-
rival, Lucy, Doris and Virginia, hurrying from
classrooms, sang, in trio, that soft, slow Italian
song, "O Solo Mio;" and, as Gadsby proudly said,
"Not for many a day had such music rung out in
Branton Hills;" for most girls, if in training with
a practical vocalist, can sing; and most charmingly,
In a far room was a big string outfit of ban-
jos, mandolins and guitars, happily strumming out
a smart, throbbing Spanish fandango, until His
Honor could not avoid a swinging of body and tap-
ping of foot; causing Lady Gadsby to laugh, say-
"Rhythm has a mighty grip on Zulus, I am
To which our swaying Mayor said: —
"Anyway, a Zulu has a lot of fun out of it.
If singing, playing and dancing could only crowd
out sitting around and moping, folks would find
[ 151 ]
that a Zulu can hand us a tip or two on happy lj v .
But all music is not of string form; so, in a
big auditorium, our party found a full brass band
of about fifty boys, with a man from Branton Hills'
Municipal Band as instructor. Now as Gadsby was,
as you boys say, "not at all bad" on a big bass horn
in his youthful days, this band instructor, think-
ing of it, was asking him to "sit it" and play. So,
as Lady Gadsby, two girls, and two sons-in-law sat
smiling and giggling in a front row, and as fifty
boys could hardly play, from laughing, that big
horn got such a blasting that it was practically a
horn solo ! And Nancy, doubling up from giggling,
said : —
"D-d-daddy! If-f-f-f B-b-b-barnum's dr-
oit hits town, you must join its cl-cl-clown band!"
But I had to rush this happy party out of
that building, as an awful thing was occurring but a
block from it; which told its own story by a lurid
light, flashing through windows; clanging gongs,
shrilling horns and running, shouting crowds; for
an old, long-vacant factory building just across
from City Hall, was blazing furiously. Rushing
along Broadway was that "motor thing," with
Clancy and Dowd clinging wildly on a running
G A D S B Y
board. Pulling up at a hydrant, Clancy said to
His Honor: —
"As I was a-hangin' onto this dom thing,
a-thinkin' it was going to bang into a big jam at
two crossroads, I says, 'By Gorra ! that big pair of
blacks wouldn't bang into nut kin ! But this cur-
razy contraption ! It ain't got no brain — no nuth-
in', no soul — nuthin' but halitosis ! !"
As Gadsby took a long look at Clancy's
"dom thing," a vision was wafting through his
mind of a calm, sunny patch of land, way out in
Branton Hills' suburbs, on which day by day, two
big blacks and two big roans could — anyway, tak-
ing all things into account, a big conflagration, with
its din, rush and panic, is no spot for such animals
as "Big Four." As for Old Bill's squawk about
animals "ruining our paving," Gadsby thought that
was but small talk, for paving, anyway, can't last
for long. But, that is a glorious spot, way out
amongst our hills!
Gadsby took his party to a room in City Hall
from which that burning factory was in plain
sight; and as Nancy and Kathlyn stood watching
that awful sight a big wall, crashing down, had a
crowd rushing to that spot.
A man's form was brought out to a patrol
[ 153 ]
G A D S B Y
wagon; and a boy, rushing past City Hall, sang
out to Gadsby : —
"It's Old Man Donaldson!!"
Tiny Nancy, almost swooning, said: —
"Donaldson? Oh, Kathy! That's Lucy's
Dad, of Company Two, you know !" and Frank and
John Smith shot wildly downstairs to find out about
it. In an instant a sobbing girlish form was dash-
ing madly from that Night School building to-
wards our Municipal Hospital. It was Lucy;
bright, always laughing Lucy; but half an hour ago
singing so happily in that girls' trio.
As that big factory was still blazing furious-
ly, Frank and John, coming in, said : —
"It was only a scalp wound, and a sprung
wrist. Lucy is coming upstairs, now."
Lucy, coming in, badly blown from running
and fright, said: —
"That wall caught Daddy ; but it was so old
and thin it didn't crush him. Oh ! How I worry
if that alarm rings !"
"But," put in Nancy, "it's mans work.
Pshaw!! What good am If Why, I couldn't do
a thing around that factory, right now! Look at
my arm ! About as big as a ball bat !" and as Frank
took that sad, tiny form in his arms, Gadsby said : —
"All throughout Natural History, Nancy,
[ 154 ]
G A D S B Y
you will find man built big and strong, and woman
small and frail. That is so that man can obtain food
for his family, and that woman may nourish his off-
spring. But today, I am sorry to say, you'll find
girls working hard, in gymnasiums, fondly hoping
to attain man's muscular parity. How silly ! ! It's
going straight against all natural laws. Girls can
find a lot of bodily good in gymnasiums, I'll admit !
but not that much. And as for your 'ball-bat' arm,
as you call it, what of it? You'd look grand, now
wouldn't you, with Frank's big oak-branch arms
hanging way down to your shins. But that ball-bat
arm can curl around your tiny baby as softy as a
down pillow. Aw, darling! Don't say you can't
do anything; for / know you can. How about our
old Organization of Youth days? You, "
And Nancy, now laughing, said, gaily: —
"Oho ! Our old Organization ! What fun
it was! But, Daddy, I don't know of any young
crowd following us up."
"No. Our young folks of today think such
things too much work;" and, as that old factory
was but a mass of ruins now, and midnight was
approaching, Gadsby's family was soon in that
mythical Land of Nod, in which no horns blow, no
sparks fall ; only occasionally a soft gurgling from
a crib in Nancy's bungalow.
[ 155 ]
It is an odd kink of hu-
manity which cannot find any valuation in spots
of natural glory. But such kinks do run riot in
Man's mind, occasionally, and Branton Hills ran
up against such, on a Council night; for a bill was
brought up by Old Bill Simpkins for disposal of City
Park to a land company, for building lots ! At first
word of such a thought, Gadsby was totally dumb,
from an actual impossibility of thinking that any
man, bringing up such a bill, wasn't plumb crazy !
"What! Our main Park; including our
"Just that," said Simpkins. "Just a big
patch of land, and a foolish batch of animals that
do nobody any good. You can't hitch a lion up to a
city dump cart, you know ; nor a hippopotamus to a
patrol wagon. What good is that bunch of hair
and horns, anyway? And that park! Bah!! Just
grass, grass, grass! Branton Hills pays for plant-
ing that grass, pays for sprinkling it, pays for cut-
ting it — and throws it away! So I say, put it into
building lots, and draw good, solid cash from it."
An Italian Councilman, Tony Bandamita,
[ 156 ]
was actually boiling during this outburst; and, in
a flash, as Simpkins quit, was up, shouting: —
"I gotta four bambinos. My bambinos playa
in thatta park: run, jumpa and rolla. Grow bigga
an' strong. My woman say no coulda do thatta if
playa all day on bricka walks. I say no buncha
land sharks buya thatta Park ! ! How many you
guys go to it, anyway ? Huh ? Notta many ! But
go!! Walk around; sniffa its blossoms; look at
grand busha ; sit on sof ta grass ! You do thatta,
an' / know you not stick no building on it ! !"
So, at Mayor Gadsby's instigation, Council
did not ballot on Simpkins' bill; and said it would
go, as Tony thought only right, and "look atta
In a day or two this pompous body of solons
was strolling about that big park. No man with
half a mind could fail to thrill at its vistas of
shrubs, ponds, lawns, arbors, fancy fowl, small
pavilions and curving shady pathways. As Gadsby
was "takinga his owna looka," Old Bill Simpkins,
coming a-snorting and a-fussing along, sang out,
gruffly : —
"All right; this is it! This is that grand
patch of grass that pays Branton Hills no tax !"
But Gadsby was thinking — and thinking
hard, too. Finally saying: —
[ 157 ]
G A D S B Y
"Bill, supposing that any day you should
walk along that big Pathway known in Sunday
School as 'Our Straight But Narrow Way.' You
would find coming towards you, all sorts of folks:
a king, roaring past in his big chariot, a capitalist
with his hands full of bonds, an old, old lady, on a
crutch. Such passings would bring to you various
thoughts. But, supposing it was a possibility that
you saw Bill Simpkins coming your way. Aha!
What an opportunity to watch that grouchy old — "
"I'll say it again: that grouchy old crab.
How you would gawk at him, that most important
of all folks, to you. How you would look at his
clothing, his hat, his boots ! That individual would
pass an inquiry such as you had not thought it a
possibility to put a man up against. Bill, I think
that if you should pass Councilman Simpkins on
that Big Pathway, you would say : 'What a grouchy
old crittur that was!"
Old Bill stood calmly during this oration,
and, looking around that big park, said : —
"John, you know how to talk, all right, all
right. I'll admit that things you say do do a lot of
good around this town. But if I should run across
this guy you talk about, on that vaporous highway,
or 'boardwalk', as / should call it, — I'd say, right
[ 158 ]
G A D S B Y
out good and loud: "Hi! You!! Hurry back to
Branton Hills and put up a block of buildings in
that silly park !" and Gadsby, walking away, saw
that an inborn grouch is as hard to dig out as a wis-
Now this Council's visit on this particular
day, was a sly plan of Gadsby's, for His Honor is,
you know, Youth's Champion, and having known
many an occasion on which Youth has won out
against Council opposition. So, our big City of-
ficials, strolling around that park, soon saw a
smooth lawn upon which sat, stood, or ran, almost
a thousand small tots of from four to six. In
dainty, flimsy outfits, many carrying fairy wands,
it was a sight so charming as to thaw out a brass
idol ! Amidst this happy party stood a tall shaft,
or mast, having hanging from its top a thick bunch
of long ribbons, of pink, lilac, gray, and similar
dainty colors; and around it stood thirty tots —
thirty tiny fists all agog to grasp thirty gay ribbons.
Old Bill took a look, and said, growlingly, to His
Honor : —
"What's all this stuff, anyway?"
"Bill, and Branton Hills' Council," said
Gadsby, "today is May Day — that day so symbolic
of budding blossoms, mating birds and sunny sky.
You all know, or ought to, of that charming custom
[ 159 [
G A D S B Y
of childhood of toddling round and round a tall mast
in and out, in and out, — thus winding gay ribbons
about it in a spiral. That is but a small part of
what this Park can do for Branton Hills. But it
is an important part; for happy childhood grows
up into happy adults, and happy adults" — looking
right at Councilman Simpkins — "can form a happy
Now a kid is always a kid ; and a kid knows
just how any sport should go. So, just by luck, a tot
who was to hold a gay ribbon didn't show up; and
that big ring stood waiting, for that round-and-
round march just couldn't start with a ribbon hang-
ing down! But a kid's mind is mighty quick and
sharp; and a small tot of four had that kind of
mind, saying: —
"Oh! That last ribbon! Isn't anybody go-
ing to hold it?"
Now historians shouldn't laugh. Historians
should only put down what occurs. But I, your
historian of Branton Hills, not only had to laugh,
but to roar; for this tot, worrying about that hang-
ing ribbon, saw our big pompous Council group
looking on. Now a Council is nothing to a tot of
four ; just a man or two, standing around. So, trot-
ting up and grasping Old Bill's hand, this tot said:
"You 11 hold it, won't you?"
t 160 ]
G A D S B Y
"What!!" and Simpkins was all colors on
throat and brow as Branton Hills' Council stood,
grinning. But that baby chin was straining up,
and a pair of baby arms was pulling, oh, so hard;
and, in a sort of coma, big, pompous, grouchy
Councilman Simpkins took that hanging ribbon !
A band struck up a quick march, and round and
round trod that happy, singing ring, with Old Bill
looming up as big as a mountain amongst its foot-
hills! Laugh? I thought His Honor would burst!
As that ribbon spiral got wound, Simpkins,
coming back, said, with a growl: —
"I was afraid I would tramp on a kid or
two in that silly stunt."
"It wasn't silly, Bill," said Gadsby. "It was
grand!" And Tony Bandamita sang out: —
"Gooda work, Councilmanna ! My four
bambinos walka right in fronta you, and twista
Simpkins, though, would only snort, and
[ 161 ]
On a warm Sunday,
Kathlyn and Julius, poking around in Branton Hills'
suburbs, occasionally found an odd formation of
fossilization, installing it amidst our Hall of
Natural History's displays. Shortly following
such an installation, a famous savant on volcanic
activity noting a most propitious rock formation
amongst Julius' groups, thought of cutting into it;
for ordinary, most prosaic rocks may contain sur-
prising information ; and, upon arriving at Branton
Hills' railway station, ran across old Pat Ryan,
czar of its trunk room.
"Ah, my man ! I want to find a lapidary."
"It isn't a 'what,' it's a lapidary."
"Lapidary, is it? Lapidary, lapidary, lapi —
lapi— la— . No, I "
Now this savant was in a hurry, and said,
snappily : —
"But a city as big as Branton Hills has a
lapidary, I trust!"
"Oh, Branton Hills has a lot of things. But,
wait a bit! It ain't a lavatory what you want, is
[ 162 ]
G A D S B Y
But at this instant, to old Pat's salvation,
Kathlyn, passing by, said : —
"All right, Pat. I know about this;" and,
both taking a taxi, old Pat walking round and
round, scratching his bald crown, was murmuring:
"Lapid Aho! I got it! It's probably a
crittur up at that zoo! I ain't forgot that hop,
skip and jump, walloping Australian tornado ! And
now His Honor has put in a lapidary ! ! I think I'll
go up with that old canvas bag ! But why all sich
high-brow stuff in naming critturs? This lapidary
thing might turn out only a rat, or a goofy bug !"
But that fairy bug, Dan Cupid, goofy or not,
as you wish, was buzzing around again ; and, though
this story is not of wild, romantic infatuations, in
which rival villains fight for a fair lady's hand, I
am bound to say that Cupid has put on an act vary-
ing much from his works in Gadsby's mansion ; for
this arrow from his bow caught two young folks
to whom a dollar bill was as long, broad and high
as City Hall. Both had to work for a living; but
by saving a bit, off and on, Sarah Young, who, you
know, with Priscilla Standish first thought of our
Night School, and Paul Johnson, who did odd jobs
around town, such as caring for lawns, painting
and "man-of-all-work," had put by a small bank
account. Paul was an orphan, as was Sarah, who
[ 163 ]
G A D S B Y
had grown up with a kindly old man, Tom Young-
his "old woman," dying at about Sarah's fourth
birthday. (That word "old woman," is common
amongst Irish folks, and is not at all ungracious.
It had to crawl into this story, through orthograph-
ical taboos, you know.) But Sarah, now a grown
young lady, had that natural longing for a spot in
which a woman might find that joy of living, in
having "things to do for just us two" if bound by
Cupid's gift — matrimony.
Many a day in passing that big church of
Nancy's grand display, or Gadsby's rich mansion,
Sarah had thought fondly about such things; for,
as with any girl, marrying amidst blossoms, glamour
and organ music was a goal, to attain which was
actual bliss. But such rituals call for cash; and
lots of it, too. Also, Old Tom Young had no room
in any way fit for such an occasion.
So Sarah would walk past, possibly a bit
sad, but looking forward to a coming happy day.
And it wasn't so far off. My, no ! As Nancy had
thought April was "a million months long," Sarah's
days swung past in a dizzy whirl ; during which, in
company with Paul on Saturday nights, a small
thing or two was happily bought for that "Cupid's
Coop," as both found a lot of fun in calling it. But
Sarah naturally had girl chums, just as Nancy and
[ 164 ]
D S B
jCathlyn had; for most of that old Organization
was still in town; and many a gift found its way
to this girl who, though poor in worldly goods, was
a s rich as old King Midas in a bright, happy dis-
position; for anybody who didn't know that magic
captivation of Sarah Young's laugh, that rich
crown of light, fluffy hair, or that grand, proud,
upright walk, wasn't amongst Branton Hills' popu-
lation. Paul, scratching around shady paths, a
potato patch or two, front yards, back yards, and
city parks, was known to many an old family man;
who upon knowing of his coming variation in liv-
ing conditions, thought way, way back to his own
romantic youth; so Paul, going to Sarah at night,
brought small but practical gifts for that "coop."
As Sarah and Paul stood in front of City
Hall on a hot July night, Sarah scanning Branton
Hills' "Post" for "vacant rooms," who should walk
up but His Honor ! And that kindly hand shot out
with : —
"Aha! If it isn't Paul and Sarah! What's
Sarah hunting for, Paul?"
"Sarah is looking for a room for us, sir."
"Us? Did you say 'us'? Oho! H-mmm!
I'm on! How soon will you want it?"
"Oh," said Sarah, blushing, "not for about
[ 165 ]
G A D S B Y
"But," said His Honor, "you shouldn't start
out in a room. You would want from four to six
I should think."
Sarah, still ogling that "rooms" column
said, softly: —
"Four to six rooms? That's just grand if
you can afford such. But, "
"Wait!" said Gadsby, who, taking Paul's
and Sarah's arms, and strolling along, told of a
small six-room bungalow of his, just around from
"And you two will pay just nothing a month
for it. It's yours, from front porch to roof top, as
a gift to two of my most loyal pals."
And instantly a copy of Branton Hills'
"Post" was blowing across Broadway in a fluky
July wind !
Now, as this young pair was to start out
frugally, it wouldn't do to lay out too much for,
as Sarah said, "about forty words by a pastor, and
So only Priscilla stood up with Sarah; and
Bill Gadsby, in all his sartorial glory, with Paul, in
Parson Brown's small study; both girls in dainty
morning clothing; Sarah carrying a bunch of gay
nasturtiums, claiming that such warm, bright col-
orings would add as much charm to that short oc-
[ 166 ]
G A D S B Y
casion as a thousand dollars' worth of orchids.
Now, such girls as Sarah, with that capacity for
finding satisfaction so simply, don't grow as abun-
dantly as hollyhocks — and Paul found that Gads-
by's old Organization was a group knowing what
a dollar is: just a dollar.
[ 167 ]
Occasionally a sight
bobs up without warning in a city, which starts a
train of thought, sad or gay, according to how you
look at it. And so, Lucy, Priscilla, and Virginia
Adams, walking along Broadway, saw a crowd
around a lamp post, upon which was a patrol-box;
and, though our girls don't customarily follow up
such sights, Lucy saw a man's form sprawling
flat up against that post, as limp as a rag. Pris-
cilla said, in disgust : —
"Ugh!! It's Norman Antor! Drunk
again!!" and Virginia, hastily grasping both girls'
arms and hurrying past, said: —
"So!! His vacation in jail didn't do him
any good! But, still, it's too bad. Norman is a
good looking, manly lad, with a good mind and a
thorough schooling. And now look at him! A
common drunk! 7"
Priscilla was sad, too, saying: —
"Awful! Awful for so young a chap.
What is his Dad doing now?"
"Still in jail," was all Virginia could say;
adding sadly: "I do pity poor young Mary, who
sold Antor's liquor, you know. Doris says that
[ 168 ]
G A D S B Y
lots of school-girls snub that kid. Now that's not
right. It's downright horrid! Mary was brought
up in what you almost might call a pool of liquor,
and I don't call it fair to snub a child for that ; for
you know that, not only 'Past' Councilman Antor,
but also Madam Antor, got what our boys call 'lit-
up' on many public occasions. Antor's pantry was
full of it! Which way could that poor kid look
without finding it? You know Mary is not so old
as most of us; and I'm just going to go to that
child and try to bring a ray of comfort into that
young mind. That rum-guzzling Antor family!!
* * * *
But a city also has amusing sights ; and our
trio ran plump into that kind, just around a turn;
for, standing on a soap box, shouting a high-
sounding jargon of rapidly shot words, was Ar-
thur Rankin, an original Organization lad; a
crowd of boys, a man or two, and a woman hang-
ing laughingly around. Our trio's first inkling as
to what it was all about was Arthur's hail to Pris-
cilla : —
"Aha! Branton Hills' fair womanhood is
Now if our trio didn't know Arthur so
thoroughly, such girls might balk at this pub-
[ 169 ]
G A D S B Y
licity. But Priscilla and Arthur had had many
a "slapping match" long ago, arising from child-
hood's spats; Priscilla originally living on an ad-
joining lot, and was Arthur's "first girl;" which
according to his old Aunt Anna, "was just silly
puppy stuff !" So nobody thought anything of this
public hail and Arthur was raving on about "which
puts an instant stop to all pain ; will rid you of any-
thing from dandruff to ingrowing nails; will build
up a strong body from a puny runt; will grow hair
on a billiard-ball scalp, and taboo it on a lady's chin;
will put a glamorous gloss on tooth or nail; stop
stomach growls ; oil up kinky joints, and bring you
to happy, smiling days of Utopian bliss! How
many, Priscilla ? Only a dollar a box ; two for dol-
Priscilla, laughing, said: —
"Not any today, thank you, Art ! All I want
is a pair of juicy lamb chops — a dish of onions
— a dish of squash — a dish of carrots — a pint of
milk — potato-chips — hot biscuits — cold slaw — cus-
tard pudding — nuts — raisins "
"Whoa, Priscilla! Hop right up on this
box ! I know that word-slinging ability of old" and
as that crowd was fading away, Priscilla said: —
"This is odd work for you, Arthur; you so
good a draughtsman. What's up?"
[ 170 ]
G A D S B Y
And Arthur, a happy, rollicking boy, having
always had all such things as most boys had, with
a Dad making good pay as a railroad conductor,
told sadly of an awful railway smash-up which
took "Dad" away from four small Rankin orphans,
whom Arthur was now supporting; and a scarcity
of jobs in Branton Hills and of trips to surround-
ing towns, always finding that old sign out: "No
Work Today." Of this soap box opportunity bob-
bing up, which was now bringing in good cash. So
our girls found that our Branton Hills boys didn't
shirk work of any kind, if brought right up against
[ 171 ]
But what about Bran-
ton Hills' municipal affairs, right now? In two
months it was to ballot on who should sit in past-
Councilman Antor's chair ; and a campaign was on
which was actually sizzling. And in what a con-
trast to our city's start ! For it has grown rapidly ;
and, in comparison to that day upon which a thous-
and ballots was a big out-pouring of popular clamor
now many politicians had City Hall aspirations.
And who do you think was running for Council,
now? William Gadsby! Popularly known as Bill!
Bill, Branton Hills' famous dandy; Bill, that con-
summation of all Branton Hills girls' most roman-
tic wish; Bill, that "outdoor part" of Branton Hills'
most aristocratic tailor shop! Naturally, opposing
groups fought for that vacancy; part of our popu-
lation clamoring loudly for Bill, but with many just
as strongly against him. So it was: —
"Put Bill Gadsby in ! ! Bill has all our May-
or's good points ! Bill will work for all that is up-
right and good!"
And also: —
"What! Bill Gadsby? Is this town plumb
crazy? Say! If you put that fop in City Hall
t 172 ]
G A D S B Y
you'll find all its railings flapping with pink satin
ribbons ; a janitor at its main door, squirting vanil-
la on all who go in ; and its front lawn will turn in-
to a pansy farm! Put a man in City Hall, not a
sissy who thinks out 'upsy-downsy, insy-outsy'
camping suits for girls !"
But though this didn't annoy Bill, it did stir
up Nancy, with: —
"Oh! That's just an abomination! Such
talk about so grand a young chap! But I just saw
a billboard with a sign saying: 'Bill Gadsby for
Council;' so, probably I shouldn't worry, for Bill
is as good as in."
"Baby," said Gadsby, kindly, "that's only a
billboard, and billboards don't put a man in City
Hall. It's ballots, darling; thousands of ballots,
that fill Council chairs."
"But, Daddy, I'm going to root for Bill.
I'll stand up on a stump, or in a tip-cart, or "
"Whoa ! Wait a bit !" and Gadsby sat down
by his "baby girl," saying: "You can't go on a
stumping campaign without knowing a lot about
municipal affairs ; which you don't. Any antagonist
who knows about such things would out-talk you
without half trying. No, darling, this political stuff
is too big for you. You just look out for things in
that small bungalow of yours, and allow Branton
[ 173 ]
G A D S B Y
Hills to fight to put Bill in. You know my old
slogan : — 'Man at a city's front ; woman at a cabin
And Nancy, fondly stroking his hand, said:
"Man at a city's front ! What a grand post
for a man! A city, a big, rushing, dashing, slam-
ming, banging, boiling mass of humanity! A city;
with its bright, happy, sunny parks; and its sad,
dark slums; its rich mansions and its shanty-town
shacks ; its shops, inns, shows, courts, airports, rail-
way stations, hospitals, schools, church groups,
social clubs, and, — and, — Oh! What a magic vis-
ualization of human thought it is! But it is as a
small child. It looks for a strong arm to support
its first toddlings; for adult minds to pilot it around
many pitfalls; and onward, onward!! To a shining
goal ! !" and Nancy's crown of rich brown hair sank
lovingly in Gadsby's lap.
During this outburst Gadsby had sat dumb;
but finally saying, proudly: —
"So, ho ! My baby girl has grown up ! Dolls
and sand-digging tools don't call, as of old. And
small, dirty paws, and a tiny smudgy chin, trans-
form, almost in a twinkling into charming hands
and a chin of maturity. My, my! It was but a
month or two ago that you, in pig-tails and ging-
D S B
"No, Daddy! It was a mighty long month
r two ago ; and it's not pig-tails and gingham, now,
but a husband and a baby."
"All right, kid; but as you grow old, you'll
find that, in glancing backwards, months look
mighty short; and small tots grow up, almost in a
night. A month from now looks awfully far off;
but last month? Pff! That was only last night!"
Thus did Nancy and His Honor talk, until
a vigorous honking at his curb told of Frank,
"looking for a cook," for it was six o'clock.
[ 175 ]
Any man with so kind-
ly a disposition toward Youth as has brought our
Mayor forward in Branton Hills' history, may,
without warning, run across an occasion which
holds an opportunity for adding a bit of joy in liv-
ing. So, as Gadsby stood, on a chilly fall day, in
front of that big glass building which was built for
a city florist, admiring a charming display of blos-
soming plants, a small girl, still in Grammar School,
said, shyly: —
"Hulloa, you. School out?"
"On Saturdays, school is always out."
"That's so; it is Saturday, isn't it? Going
"In!! My, no! / can't go into that fairy-
"No? Why not, pray?"
"Aw! I dunno; but nobody has took kids
"Took? Took? Say, young lady, you must
study your grammar book. Branton Hills schools
"Uh-huh; I know. But a kid just can't — "
[ 176 ]
G A D S B Y
"By golly! A kid can! Grab my hand."
Now, many a fairy book has told, in glowing
words, of childhood's joys and thrills at amazing
sights; but no fairy book could show, in cold print,
what Gadsby ran up against as that big door shut,
and a child stood stock still — and dumb! Two
small arms hung limply down, against a poor, oh,
so poor skirt ; and two big staring brown orbs took
in that vision of floral glory, which is found in just
that kind of a big glass building on a cold, raw
Gadsby said not a word; slowly strolling
down a path amidst thousands of gladioli; around
a turn, and up a path, along which stood pots and
pots of fuchsias, salvias and cannas ; and to a cross-
path, down which was a big flat pansy patch, tubs
of blossoming lilacs, and stiff, straight carnations.
Not a word from Gadsby, for his mind was on that
small bunch of rapturous joy just in front of him.
But, finally, just to pry a bit into that baby mind,
His Honor said: —
"Looks kind of good, don't it?"
A tiny form shrunk down about an inch;
and an also tiny bosom, rising and falling in a
thralldom of bliss, finally put forth a long, long, —
[ 177 ]
G A D S B Y
It was so long that Gadsby was in a quandary
as to how such small lungs could hold it.
Now in watching this tot thrilling at its
first visit to such a world of floral glory, Gadsby
got what boys call "a hunch;" and said: —
"You don't find blossoms in your yard this
month, do you?"
If you know childhood you know that
thrills don't last long without a call for informa-
tion. And Gadsby got such a call, with: —
"No, sir. Is this God's parlor?"
Now Gadsby wouldn't, for anything, spoil
a childish thought; so said, kindly: —
"It's part of it. God's parlor is awfully big,
"My parlor is awfully small; and not any
bloss Oh! Wouldn't God ?"
Gadsby's hunch was now working, full tilt;
and so, as this loving family man, having had four
kids of his own, and this tot from a poor family
with its "awfully small" parlor, — had trod this big
glass building's paths again and again; round and
round, an almost monstrous sigh from an almost
bursting tiny bosom, said : —
"I'll think of God's parlor, always and al-
ways and always!!" and Gadsby, on glancing up-
wards", saw a distinct drooping and curving of many
[ 178 ]
G A D S B Y
stalks; which is a plant's way of bowing to a child.
And, at Branton Hills' following Council night a
motion was But I said Gadsby had a hunch.
So, not only this schoolgirl's awfully small parlor,
but many such throughout Branton Hills' poor
districts, soon found a "big girl" from Gadsby's
original Organization of Youth at its front door
with plants from that big glass building, in which
our City Florist works in God's parlor. (P.S. Go
with a child to your City Florist's big glass build-
ing. It's a duty!)
[ 179 ]
I AM NOW GOING back to
my saying that a city has all kinds of goings-on-
both sad and gay. So, as His Honor sat on his
porch on a warm spring day, a paragraph in Bran-
ton Hills' "Post" brought forth such a vigorous
"Huh!" that Lady Gadsby was curious, asking: —
"What is it?"
So Gadsby said: — "What do you think of
this? It says: — 'In a wild swaying dash down
Broadway last night at midnight, past-Council-
man Antor's car hit a hydrant, killing him and
Madam Antor instantly. Highway Patrolman Har-
ry Grant, who was chasing that car in from our
suburbs, says both horribly drunk, Antor graz-
ing four cars, Madam shouting and singing wildly,
with Grant arriving too tardily to ward off that
Now Lady Gadsby was, first of all, a wo-
man ; and so got up quickly, saying : —
"Oh ! ! I must go down to poor young Mary,
right offf and Gadsby sat tapping his foot, say-
"So Antor's pantry probably still holds that
stuff. Too bad. But, oh, that darling Mary ! Just
[ 180 ]
G A D S B Y
got into High School! Not long ago Lucy told us
f girls snubbing that kid; but I trust that, from
this horror, our Branton Hills girls will turn from
snubbing to pity. This account says that Madam
Antor also was drunk. A woman drunk!! And
riding with a rum-sot man at a car's controls ! Wo-
man! From History's dawn, Man's soft, fond, lov-
ing pal! Woman! For whom wars of blood and
agony cut Man down as you would mow a lawn!
Woman! To whom infancy and childhood look for
all that is upright and good ! It's too bad ; too bad !"
As in all such affairs you will always find
two factions talking. Taking about what? Just
now, about Norman Antor. What would this wip-
ing out of his folks do to him ? Norman was now
living with Mary and two aunts who, coming from
out of town, would try to plan for our two orphans ;
try to plan for Norman; Norman, brought up in a
pool of liquor ! Norman : tall, dark and manly and
with a most ingratiating disposition if not
drunk. But nobody could say. A group would
claim that "this fatality will bring him out of it;"
but his antagonists thought that "That guy will al-
A day or two from that crash, Nancy, com-
ing into Gadsby's parlor, found Lucy talking with
Lady Gadsby, Lucy asking: —
[ 181 ]
G A D S B Y
"Nancy, who is with young Mary Antor
now? That pair of aunts wouldn't stay, with all
that liquor around."
"I just found out," said Nancy. "Mary i s
living with Old Lady Flanagan" and Lucy, though
sad, had to laugh just a bit, saying : —
"Ha, ha! Old Lady Flanagan! What a
circus I had trying to pry a zoo donation from that
poor soul's skimpy funds ! But, Nancy, Mary is in
mighty good hands. That loving old Irish lady is
[ 182 ]
Along in April, Gads-
by sat finishing his morning toast as a boy, rush-
ing in, put a "Post" on his lap with a wild, boyish
gasp of: — "My gosh, Mayor Gadsby, Look!!" and
Gadsby saw a word about a foot high. It was
W — A — R. Lady Gadsby saw it also, slow-
ly sinking into a chair. At that instant both Nancy
and Kathlyn burst frantically in, Nancy lugging
Baby Lillian, now almost two, and a big load for so
small a woman , Nancy gasping out : —
"Daddy ! ! Must Bill and Julius and Frank
and John, "
Gadsby put down his "Post" and, pulling
Nancy down onto his lap, said: —
"Nancy darling, Bill and Julius and Frank
and John must. Old Glory is calling, baby, and no
Branton Hills boy will balk at that call. It's awful,
but it's a fact, now."
Lady Gadsby said nothing, but Nancy and
Kathlyn saw an ashy pallor on that matronly brow ;
and Gadsby going out without waiting for his custo-
For what you might call an instant, Branton
Hills, in blank, black gloom, stood stock still. But
[ 183 ]
G A D S B Y
not for long. Days got to flashing past, with that
awful sight of girls, out to lunch, saying: —
"Four from our shop; and that big cotton
mill has forty-six who will go,"
With Virginia saying: —
"About all that our boys talk about is uni-
forms, pay, transportation, army corps, divisions,
naval squadrons, and so on."
An occasional Branton Hills politician
thought that it "might blow out in a month or two ;"
but your Historian knows that it didn't ; all of that
"blowing" consisting of blasts from that military
clarion, calling for mobilization.
* * *
Days! Days! Days! Finally, on May
Fourth, that day of tiny Nancy's big church ritual,
you know; that day, upon which any woman
would look back with romantic joy, Nancy, with
Kathlyn, Lady Gadsby and His Honor, stood at
Branton Hills' big railway station, at which our
Municipal Band was drawn up; in back of which
stood, in solid ranks, this city's grand young man-
hood, Bill, Julius, Frank, John, Paul and Norman
standing just as straight and rigid as any. As that
long, long troop train got its signal to start, — but
you know all about such sights, going on daily,
from our Pacific coast to Atlantic docks.
[ 184 ]
G A D S B Y
As it shot around a turn, and Gadsby was
walking sadly toward City Hall, a Grammar School
boy hurrying up to him said : —
"Wow!! I wish / could go to war !"
"Hi !" said Gadsby. "If it isn't Kid Banks !"
"Aw ! Cut that kid stuff ! I'm Allan Banks !
Son of Councilman Banks!"
"Oh, pardon. But you don't want to go to
"Aw! I do too If*
"But young boys can't go to war."
"I know that; and I wish this will last until
I grow so I can go. It's just grand ! A big cannon
says Boom! Boom! and, — "
"Sit down on this wall, boy. I want to talk
"All right. Shoot !"
"Now look, Allan. If this war should last
until you grow up, just think of how many thous-
ands of troops it would kill. How many grand,
good lads it would put right out of this world."
"Gosh! That's so, ain't it! I didn't think
of guys dyin'."
"But a man has to think of that, Allan. And
you will, as you grow up. My two big sons just
put off on that big troop train. I don't know how
long Bill and Julius will stay away. Your big can-
[ 185 ]
G A D S B Y
non might go Boom! and hit Bill or Julius. Do you
know Frank Morgan, Paul Johnson and John
Smith? All right; that big cannon might hit that
trio, too. Nobody can say who a cannon will hit,
Allan. Now, you go right on through Grammar
School, and grow up into a big strong man, and
don't think about war;" and Gadsby, standing and
gazing far off to Branton Hills' charming hill
district, thought : "I think tlxat will bust up a wild
young ambition !"
But that kid, turning back, sang out: —
"Say!! If this scrap stops, and a big war
starts, — Aha, boy! You just watch Allan Banks!
Son of Councilman Banks ! !" and a small fist was
pounding viciously on an also small bosom.
"By golly!" said Gadsby, walking away,
"that's Tomorrow talking !"
So now this history will drift along; along
through days and months ; days and months of that
awful gnawing doubt ; actually a paradox, for it
was a "conscious coma ;" mornings on which Bran-
ton Hills' icy blood shrank from looking at our city's
"Post," for its casualty list was rapidly — too rapid-
ly, — growing. Days and days of our girlhood and
womanhood rolling thousands of long, narrow cot-
ton strips; packing loving gifts from many a pan-
[ 186 ]
G A D S B Y
try; Nancy and Kathlyn thinking constantly of
Frank and John; Lucy almost down and out from
worrying about Paul; Kathlyn knowing just how
Julius is missing his Hall of Natural History, and
how its staff is praying for him ; Nancy's radio shut
down tight, for so much as a thought of Station
KBH was as a thrust of a sword. Days. Days.
Days of shouting orators, blaring bands, troops
from far away pausing at our big railway station,
as girls, going through long trains of cars, took
doughnuts and hot drinks. In Gadsby's parlor
window hung that famous "World War flag" of
nothing but stars; nobody knowing at what in-
stant a gold star would show upon it. A star for
Bill; a star for Julius. Ah, Bill! Branton Hills'
fop ! Bill Gadsby now in an ill-fitting and un-styl-
ish khaki uniform.
Gadby's mansion had no brilliant night
lights, now; just his parlor lamp and a small light
or two in hallways or on stairways. Only our May-
or and his Lady, now worrying, worrying, worry-
ing; but both of good, staunch old Colonial stock;
and "carrying on" with good old Plymouth Rock
stability ; and Nancy's baby, Lillian, too young to ask
why Grandma "wasn't hungry," now; and didn't
laugh so much.
Kathlyn got into our big hospital, this stu-
[ 187 ]
G A D S B Y
dious young lady's famous biological and microscop-
ic ability holding out an opportunity for most prac-
tical work ; for Branton Hills' shot-torn boys would
soon start drifting in. And thus it was ; with Lucy,
Sarah and Virginia inspiring Branton Hills' wo-
manhood to knit, knit, knit! You saw knitting on
many a porch; knitting in railway trains; knitting
during band music in City Park; knitting in shady
arbors out at our big zoo ; at many a woman's club,
— and, — actually, knitting in church!! Finally a
big factory, down by our railway station, put out
a call for "anybody, man or woman, who wants to
work on munitions;" and many a dainty Branton
Hills girl sat at big, unfamiliar stamping, punching,
grinding, or polishing outfits; tiring frail young
backs and straining soft young hands ; knowing that
this factory's output might, — and probably would,
— rob a woman across that big Atlantic of a hus-
band or son, — but, still, it is war!
Gadsby, smoking on his ivy-clad porch, as
his Lady was industriously knitting, said, in a sort
of soliloquy: —
"War! That awful condition which a fa-
mous military man in command of a division, long
ago, said was synonymous with Satan and all his co-
horts! War! That awful condition of human
minds coming down from way, way back of all his-
[ 188 ]
G A D S B Y
tory; that vast void during which sympathy was
not known; during which animals fought with
tooth, claw or horn; that vast void during which
wounds had no soothing balm, until thirst, agony
or a final swoon laid low a gigantic mammoth, or
a tiny, gasping fawn! But now, again, in this
grand day of Man's magically growing brain, this
day of kindly crooning to infants in cribs; kindly
talks to boys and girls in school ; and blood-tingling
orations from thousands of pulpits upon that Holy
Command : 'Thou Shalt Not Kill,' now, again, Man
is out to kill his own kind." And Lady Gadsby
could only sigh.
[ 189 ]
AS THIS STORY HAS
shown, Youth, if adults will only admit that it has
any brains at all, will stand out, today, in a most
promising light. Philosophically, Youth is Wis-
dom in formation, and with many thoughts start-
ling to adult minds; and, industrially, this vast
World's coming stability is now, today, in its hands ;
growing slowly, as a blossom grows from its bud.
If you will furnish him with a thorough schooling,
you can plank down your dollar that Youth, start-
ing out from this miraculous day, will not lag nor
shirk on that coming day in which old joints, rusty
and crackling, must slow down; and, calling for
an oil can, you will find that Youth only, is that lu-
brication which can run Tomorrow's World. But
Youth must not go thinking that all its plans will
turn out all right; and young Marian Hopkins
found this out. Marian, you know, took part in
our airport initiation. But Marian, only a kid at
that day, has grown up — or half-way up, anyway,
and just graduating from Grammar School; upon
which big day a child "knows" as much as any
famous savant of antiquity ! But, as this story runs
in skips and jumps, strict chronological continuity
t 190 ]
G A D S B Y
is not a possibility. So, Marian is now half grown
up. Now that big airport, as you also know, was
just back of Marian's back yard; and as that yard
was much too big for anything that Marian's Dad
could do with it, it was put up for disposal. But
nobody would go to look at it; to say nothing of
buying it. But Old Bill Simpkins, past antagonist
of Gadsby's Organization of Youth, did go out to
look at it ; but said, with his customary growl : —
"Too many aircraft always roaring and
zooming. Too far out of town. And you ask too
much for it, anyway."
But Marian thought that Branton Hills, as
a municipality, should own it; figuring that that
airport would grow, and that yard was practically
a part of it, anyway. So Marian, going to His
Honor, as about anybody in town did, without an in-
stant's dallying, "told him," (!) what his Council
"But," said Gadsby, "what a City Council
should do, and what it will do, don't always match
"Can't I go and talk to it?"
"What! To our Council? No; that is, not
as a body. But if you can run across a Councilman
out of City Hall you can say what you wish. A
Councilman is just an ordinary man, you know."
[ 191 ]
G A D S B Y
But a Councilman out of City Hall was a
hard man to find ; and a child couldn't go to a man's
mansion to "talk him around." But, by grand luck
in a month or so, Marian did find, and win, all but
On Council night, Simpkins took up a good,
— or I should say, bad — half hour against Branton
Hills "buying any old dump or scrap land that is
put up. What was this city coming to?" and so on,
and so on. And Marian's back yard wasn't bought.
Now Youth is all right if you rub its fur in a way
which suits it ; but, man ! ! hold on to your hat, if
you don't!! And Marian's fur was all lumpy.
Boy! was that kid MAD!!
Now, just by luck, March thirty-first, com-
ing along as days do, you know, found Marian in
front of a toy shop window, in which, way down
front, was a box of cigars, with a card saying:
"This Brand Will Start His Blood Tingling." And
Marian, as boys say, was "on" in an instant; and
bought a cigar. Not a box, not a bunch, but just
a cigar. Coming out Marian saw His Honor and
Simpkins passing; Simpkins saying: —
"All right. I'll drop around, tonight." And
was Marian happy? Wait a bit.
That night as Gadsby and Simpkins sat
talking in His Honor's parlor, who would, "just by
[ 192 ]
G A D S B Y
luck," (??) walk in, but Marian; saying, oh, so
"Just thought I'd drop in to chat with
Nancy," and, on passing a couch, slyly laid that
cigar on it. Now Simpkins, in addition to his fam-
ous grouch, was a parsimonious old crab; who,
though drawing good pay as Councilman, couldn't
pass up anything that cost nothing; and, in gazing
around, saw that cigar; and, with a big apologiz-
ing yawn, and slinking onto that couch as a cat
slinks up on a bird, and, oh, so nonchalantly light-
ing a match, was soon puffing away and raving
about Branton Hills politics. Out in a back parlor
sat Marian and Nancy on a big divan, hugging
tightly up, arm in arm, and almost suffocating from
holding back youthful anticipations, as Simpkins
said : —
". . . and that Hopkins back yard stunt!
Ridiculous! Why, his kid was out, trying to find
all of our Council to talk it into buying. Bah ! And
rftrflblockit? I'll say I did! You don't find kids
today laughing at Councilman Simpkins."
An actual spasm of giggling in that back
parlor had Gadsby looking around, inquiringly.
"No, sir!" Simpkins said. "No kid can
fool Coun "
t 193 ]
G A D S B Y
Gadsby, jumping up saw only a frazzly cigar
stump in Old Bill's mouth, as that palpitating in-
dividual was vigorously brushing off falling sparks
as His Honor's rugs got a rain of tobacco scraps!
Gadsby was "on" in an instant, noticing Marian and
Nancy rolling and tumbling around on that big di-
van, and doubling up in a giggling fit, way out of
control. Finally Simpkins angrily got up, vicious-
ly jamming on his tall silk hat; and Marian, fight-
ing that giggling fit, just had to call out : —
"April Fool, Councilman Simpkins!!"
(And Mayor Gadsby, on a following Coun-
cil night, got Marian's land bill through; many a
Councilman holding his hand in front of his grin-
ning mouth, m voting for bright, vitalic Youths
[ 194 ]
Widow Adams was sit-
ting up again, for it was way past midnight, and
Virginia was out. Many months ago Virginia was,
also out, and was brought back, unconscious. So
now Nina was again sitting up, for Virginia' was
not a night -owl sort of a girl. Finally, around two
o'clock, Nina coudn't stand it, and had to call in a
passing patrolman. Now this patrolman was an
original Organization of Youth boy, and had al-
ways known Nina and Virgina ; and said : —
"Oh, now! I wouldn't worry so. Possibly
a bus had a blowout ; or — "
"But Virginia said nothing about going on
a bus ! Oh ! ! How could that child vanish so ?"
Naturally, all that that patrolman could do
was to call his station; and Nina, almost all in, lay
down, until, just about dawn a jangling ringing
brought this half wild woman to a front hall, shout-
"This is Nina Adams talking! Who? What?
Virginia, is that you ? What's wrong ? What ! You
and Harold Thompson? Our aviator? You did
what? Took his aircraft to what city? Why, that's
so far you can't " but Virginia had hung up.
[ 195 ]
G A D S B Y
So Nina also hung up, and sat down with a big
long sigh : —
"My Virginia, not running away, but fly.
ing away, to marry! Oh, this Youth of today!"
* * *
Around six o'clock that night, Virginia and
Harold stood arm in arm in Nina's parlor, as •>
big bus was groaning noisily away.
"But, Mama," said Virginia, sobbing piti-
fully, "I didn't think you would "
"That's just it, Virginia, you didn't think!!
But you should! How could / know what was go-
ing on? That's just you young folks of today.
You think of nothing but your own silly, foolish
doings, and you allow us old good-for-nothings to
go crazy with worry!!" and Nina sank in a gasp-
ing swoon onto a sofa.
But old Doc Wilkins, arriving at Virginia's
frantic call, knowing Nina's iron constitution from
childhood, soon had that limp form back to normal ;
and, with a dark, disapproving scowl at Virginia,
said : —
"Bring in a good batch of hot food, and
your Ma will turn out all right," and going out,
with a snort of disgust, and banging viciously that
big front door !
Awful tidings in our
Branton Hills' "Post," had so wrought up our ordi-
narily happy, laughing Sarah, who, with Paul
abroad, was back, living again with old Toin
Young, that Sarah, sitting on a low stool by old
Tom's rocking chair was so still that Tom put
down his "Post," saying: —
"Gift of gab all run out, kid?"
But Sarah had an odd, thoughtful look.
Sarah's bosom was rising and falling abnormally;
but, finally, looking quickly up at old Tom, Sarah
said : —
"Daddy, I want to go to war."
"Do what?" If Sarah had said anything
about jumping out of a balloon, or of buying a
gorilla to play with, Tom Young wouldn't know
any such astounding doubt as brought his rocking
chair to a quick standstill.
"War? What kind of talk is this? A girl
going to war? What for? How? Say!! Who
put this crazy stunt into your brain, anyway ?"
As you know, Sarah was not only charming
in ways, but also in build; and, with that glorious
crown of brownish-gold hair, that always smiling
[ 197 ]
G A D S B Y
mouth and that soft, plump girlishly-girlish form
no man, Tom Young nor anybody, could think of
Sarah and war in a solitary thought. So Sarah
said, softly: —
"Last night, our Night School trio thought
that our boys, so far away, must miss us, and Bran-
ton Hills sights; and Doris said, 'Branton Hills
sounds.' And so, why couldn't our trio join that
big group of musicians which is sailing soon? And,
Daddy, you know Paul is in that army. I don't
know that I could find him, but — but — but I want
to try. And Kathlyn is talking of going as biologist
with a big hospital unit; so possibly I could stav
Tom Young was dumb! His "Post" actual-
ly had told of such a musical outfit about to sail;
but it was a man's organization. So, now it has
got around to this! Our girls, our dainty, loving
girls, brimful of both sympathy and patriotism,
wanting to go into that tough, laborious work of
singing in army camps ; in huts ; in hospitals ; sing-
ing from trucks rolling along country roads along
which sat platoons and batallions of troops, wait-
ing for word which might bring to this or that boy
his last long gun-toting tramp. Singing in —
"Aw, darling! Your trio was fooling,
wasn't it ? Now, girls don't "
[ 198 ]
G A D S B Y
"Daddy, girls do! So, if our folks don't put
up too much of a — "
"Aha!! Now you said a mouthful; if your
folks don't! Darling, I'll say just two words as my
part in this crazy stunt: 'Nothing doing' !! Kath-
lyn's work is mighty important; singing isn't."
Sarah had not grown up from infancy in
kindly Tom's cabin without knowing that his "no''
was a "no.'f and not a flimsy, hollow word which
a whining, or a sniffling, or a bawling child could
switch around into : "Oh, all right, if you want to."
So Sarah still sat on that low stool; or, to turn it
around almost backwards, — Sarah sat on that stool,
— still. So still that Tom's old tin clock on its wall
hooks was soon dominating that small room with
its rhythmic ticking, as a conductor's baton con-
trols a brass band's pianissimos. Finally Sarah
said softly, slowly, sadly and with a big, big sigh :- ■
"I did so want to go." And that small clock
was ticking, ticking, ticking. . .
For a full hour Sarah and old Tom sat talk-
ing and rocking, until Sarah, phoning to Doris,
said : —
"My Dad says no."
And Doris, phoning back to Sarah, said: —
"So did my Dad."
And, as Virginia Adams was that trio's
[ 199 ]
G A D S B Y
third part; and as Sarah and Doris had always
known Nina Adams' strong will ; and as, — Oh, hum !
It was a happy fascination until adult minds got
hold of it !
[ 200 ]
Gadsby was walking
back from a visit down in Branton Hills' manu-
facturing district on a Saturday night. A busy
day's traffic had had its noisy run; and with not
many folks in sight, His Honor got along without
having to stop to grasp a hand, or talk ; for a May-
or out of City Hall is a shining mark for any poli-
tician. And so, coming to Broadway, a booming
bass drum and sounds of singing, told of a small
Salvation Army unit carrying on amidst Broad-
way's night shopping crowds. Gadsby, walking
toward that group, saw a young girl, back towards
him, just finishing a long, soulful oration, saying: —
". . .and I can say this to you, for I know
what I am talking about; for I was brought up
in a pool of liquor !T
As that army group was starting to march
on, with this girl turning towards Gadsby, His
Honor had to gasp, astonishingly: —
"Oh! If it isn't Mayor Gadsby! I don't
run across you much, now-a-days. How is Lady
Gadsby holding up during this awful war?"
[ 201 ]
G A D S B Y
All such family gossip passing quickly,
Gadsby said : —
"But this Salvation Army work, Mary?
How long "
Mary and His Honor had to walk along, as
that big drum was now pounding a block away.
During that walk Gadsby found out all about that
vast void in Mary's bungalow following that fatal
auto crash; and all about "two old maid aunts" as
Mary said, who had all that pantry's liquor thrown
down a drain and got out, also, a day or two fol-
lowing; all about living now at Old Lady Flana-
". . .for I just couldn't stay in that bunga-
low, with nobody around, you know." And all
about loving companionship in that grand old lady's
arms; and of Mary's finding that Flanagan, who
got such a "wallop" from Antor's killing, wasn't
drinking so much, now; which put it into Mary's
mind that many a man would, with kindly coaching,
turn from it.
"And I think that my nightly talks against
liquor, hit; and hit hard, too; for almost nightly a
poor down-and-out will follow along with our band,
promising to cut it out and go straight. Oh, why
didn't I try to stop Norman's drinking?"
"Probably," said Gadsby, "you did, in your
[ 202 1
G A D S B Y
girlish way; but you know boys don't think that
small girls know anything. I'd put up any amount
that Norman, in that far-away camp, is thinking
of you, constantly."
"Oh-h-h-h ! If I could only know that !" and
a look of almost sanctity, and a big, long-drawn
sigh told what a turmoil was going on in this young
girl's mind. "But I'm going on, and on and on with
this night talking until Norman is back again. Pos-
sibly a plan will turn up toward both of us living
down our past, and our sorrow." And Gadsby,
slowly plodding along towards his dimly lit mansion,
thought of a slight transposition of that scriptural
quotation: "And your sins, you adults, shall fall
upon your offspring, unto your third and fourth — "
"Oh, if a man would only think of his off-
spring having to carry on, long past his last day!
And of how hard it is for a boy or girl to stand up
and proudly (?) claim that so-and-so 'was my
Dad,' if all Branton Hills knows of that Dad's in-
glorious past. Poor kids !" for you know that Gads-
by said, in this story's start, that "a man should
so carry on his daily affairs as to bring no word of
admonition from anybody;" for a man's doings
should put a stain upon no soul but his own.
But, aha!! As His Honor got to his parlor,
[ 203 ]
G A D S B Y
his sad mind found a happy, smiling Lady await-
ing him; crying joyously: —
"Look! Look, John! Word from William!
From Bill, in Paris!"
Bill's first communication said: —
"Darling Folks: Julius and I just got in-
to this town from a month of hard marching, ditch-
digging and fighting. I am all right, and so is
Julius. Ran across Frank, who is on duty at our
Commissary. Lucky guy! Lots of food always
around ! Paul is growing fat. Looks mighty good.
Oh, how all of us do miss you and good old Branton
Hills ! I can't find a solitary suit in this town that
I would put on to go to a dog fight! Such fashion. 1 "
and so on; just a natural outpouring from a boy,
away on his first trip from his Dad's kindly roof.
"Ha, ha!" said Gadsby, laughing jovially;
"That's our Bill, all right ! Always thinking of doll-
ing up!" and Lady Gadsby, rising quickly, said: —
"Oh, I must call up Nancy, Kathlyn and
Sarah !" and, in a trio of small bungalows, joy, wild
joy, found its way into girlish minds!
As Gadsby sat, going through this good
word again and again, a mirthful chuckling had
Lady Gadsby asking : —
"What's so funny about it?"
"Nothing; only if I didn't know that Frank
[ 204 ]
D S B
is such a grand, good lad, I'd think Bill was hiding
a bit from us; for that 'on duty at Commissary*
might amount only to potato paring !"
[ 205 ]
was waiting at our big railroad station, on a warm
Spring day, for a train to pull out, so that cross-
track traffic could start again. It was just an ordi-
nary train such as stop hourly at Branton Hills,
but Priscilla saw that a group was hurrying toward
a combination-car, way up forward. Now Pris-
cilla was not a girl who found morbid curiosity in
any such a public spot; but, still, an odd, uncanny
sort of thrill, — almost a chill, in fact, — was urging,
urging a slow walk toward that car. Just why,
Priscilla didn't know ; but such things do occur in a
human mind. So Priscilla soon was standing on a
trunk truck, gazing down into that group which
now was slowly moving back, forming room for
taking out a young man in khaki uniform, on a
hospital cot. With a gasp of horror, Priscilla
was instantly down from that truck, pushing
through that group, and crying out, wildly : —
"Arthur! Arthur Rankin! Oh! Oh! What is
it, darling?" and looking up at a hospital assistant,
"Is it bad?"
"Don't know, right now, lady," said that
[ 206 ]
G A D S B Y
snowy clad official. "Unconscious. But our big
hospital will do all it can for him."
Arthur Rankin ! Arthur, with whom Pris-
cilla had had many a childhood spat! Arthur who
had shown that "puppy stuff" for Priscilla, that his
old aunt was always so disapprovingly sniffing at!
And now, unconscious on a,
With a murmuring of sympathy from that
sorrowing public, now dissolving, as all crowds do,
Priscilla had a quick, comforting thought: "Kath-
lyn is working at that hospital !"
Kathlyn had known Arthur as long as Pris-
cilla had; and Kathlyn's famous ability would
So our panting and worrying girl was hurry-
ing along through Broadway's turning and inquir-
ing crowds to that big hospital which our Organi-
zation of Youth had had built. And now Arthur
was going, for not long, possibly, but, still possibly
It was midnight in that big still building.
Old Doctor Wilkins stood by Arthur's cot; Pris-
cilla, sobbing pitifully, was waiting in a corridor,
with Lady Standish giving what comfort a woman
could. Lady Standish, who took in dogs, cats,
rabbits or any living thing that was hurt, sick or
lost; Lady Standish, donor of four thousand dol-
[ 207 ]
G A D S B Y
lars for our big Zoo; Lady Standish, kindly savior
of Clancy's and Dowd's "Big Four," now waiting
without ability to aid a human animal. Finally,
Doctor Wilkins, coming out, said : —
"Kathlyn says no sign of blood contamina-
tion, but vitality low; badly low; sinking, I think.
Railroad trip almost too much for him. Looks
But, at this instant, an assistant, calling
Wilkins, said Arthur was coming out of his coma;
and was murmuring "about a woman known as
Priscilla. Do you know anybody by ?"
With a racking sob, Priscilla shot through
that door, Lady Standish quickly following. Ar-
thur, picking up, a bit, from Priscilla's soft, oh, so
soft and loving crooning and patting, took that fond
hand and — sank back! Doctor Wilkins, looking
knowingly at Priscilla, said : —
"If it is as I think, you two had had thoughts
A vigorous nod from Priscilla, and an ap-
proving look from Lady Standish, and Doctor Wil-
kins said: —
"Hm-m-m! It should occur right now!
As quick as a flash that snowy-clad assis-
tant was phoning; and, astonishingly soon, our good
[ 208 ] '
G A D S B Y
Pastor Brown stood by that cot; and, with Arthur
in a most surprising pick-up, holding Priscilla's hot,
shaking hand, through that still hospital room was
wafting Priscilla's soft, low words: —
". . .you for my lawful husband, until. . ."
* * *
Doctor Wilkins, going out with Priscilla,
now trying, oh, so hard for control; with grand,
charming, loving Kathlyn, arm in arm, said: —
"That joy will pull him through. Boys, at
war, so far away, will naturally droop, both in body
and mind, from lack of a particular girl's snuggling
and cuddling. So just wait until Kathlyn finds out
all about his condition; and good food, with this
happy culmination of a childhood infatuation, will
put him in first-class condition, if no complications
Ah ! What an important part of a city's in-
stitutions a hospital is ! What a comfort to all, to
know that, should injury or any ailing condition of
man, woman or child occur without warning, any-
body can, simply through phoning find quick trans-
portation at his door; and, with angrily clanging
gongs, or high-pitch whistlings obtaining a "right
of way" through all traffic, that institution's doors
will swing apart, assistants will quickly surround
that cot, and an ability for doing anything that Man
[ 209 ]
G A D S B Y
can do is at hand. You know, almost daily, of capi-
talists of philanthropic mold, donating vast sums to
a town or an association; but, in your historian's
mind, no donation can do so much good as that
which builds, or maintains hospitalization for all. A
library, a school, a boys' or girls' club, a vacation
facility, a "chair" of this or that in an institution of
instruction, — all do much to build up a community.
Both doctoring as a study for a young man, and
nursing for a girl form most important parts of
And so, just four months from that awful,
but also happy day, Arthur Rankin sat in a ham-
mock with Priscilla, on Lady Standish's porch, with
four small Rankins playing around; or was walk-
ing around that back yard full of cats, dogs, rab-
bits, and so on, with no thought of soap box ora-
tions in his mind.
On a grand Autumn
morning Branton Hills' "Post" boys ran shouting
down Broadway, showing in half -foot wording:
"FIGHTING STOPS!! HISTORY'S MOST
DISASTROUS WAR IS HISTORY NOW!!!"
and again, Branton Hills stood stock still. But only
for an instant ; for soon, it was, in all minds : —
"Thank God!! Oh, ring your loud church
clarions! Blow your factory blasts! Shout! Cry!
Sing! Play, you bands! Burst your drums! Crack
your cymbals !"
Ah, what a sight on Broadway ! Shop girls
pouring out! Shop janitors boarding up big glass
windows against a surging mob! And, (sh-h-h-h)
many a church having in its still sanctity a woman
or girl at its altar rail.
Months, months, months! Branton Hills
was again at its big railroad station, its Municipal
Band playing our grand National air, as a long
troop train, a solid mass of bunting, was snorting
noisily in. And, amidst that outpouring flood of
Branton Hills boys, Lady Gadsby, Nancy, Kath-
lyn and His Honor found Bill, Julius, Frank and
[ 211 ]
G A D S B Y
John. Sarah was just "going all apart" in Paul's
arms, with Virginia swooning in Harold's.
On old Lady Flanagan's porch sat Mary
Antor; for, having had no word from Norman for
months, this grand young Salvation Army lass was
in sad, sad doubt. But soon, as that shouting mob
was drifting away, and happy family groups walk-
ing citywards, a khaki-clad lad, hurrying to old Lady
Flanagan's cabin, and jumping that low, ivy-clad
wall, had Mary, sobbing and laughing, in his arms.
No. It wasn't Norman.
A crowd was standing
around in City Park, for a baby was missing. Pa-
trol cars roaring around Branton Hills; many a
woman hunting around through sympathy; kid-
napping rumors flying around. His Honor was out
of town ; but on landing at our railroad station, and
finding patrol cars drawn up at City Park, saw, in
that crowd's midst, a tiny girl, of about six, with a
bunch of big shouting patrol officers, asking: —
"Who took that baby?"
"Did you do it?"
"Which way did it go ?"
"How long ago did you miss it?"
"Say, kiddo!! Why don't you talk?"
An adult brain can stand a lot of such shout-
ing, but a baby's is not in that class; so, totally
dumb, and shaking with fright, this tot stood, thumb
in mouth, and two big brown baby orbs just start-
ing to grow moist, as His Honor, pushing in, said :
"Wait a bit!!" and that bunch in uniform,
knowing him, got up and Gadsby sat down on a
rock, saying: —
"You can't find out a thing from a young
child by such hard, gruff ways. This tiny lady is
[ 213 ]
G A D S B Y
almost in a slump. Now, just start this crowd mov-
ing. I know a bit about Youth."
"That's right," said a big, husky patrolman.
"If anybody living knows kids, it's you, sir."
So, as things got around to normal, His
Honor, now sitting flat on City Park's smooth lawn,
said, jovially : —
A big gulping sob in a tiny bosom — didn't
gulp ; and a grin ran around a small mouth, as our
young lady said : —
"So many big cops ! O-o-o ! I got afraid !"
"I know, darling; but no big cops will shout
at you now. / don't shout at tiny girls, do I ?"
"No, sir; but if folks do shout, I go all
"Woozy? Woozy? Ha, ha! I'll look that
up in a big book. But what's all this fuss about?
Is it about a baby?"
A vigorous nodding of a bunch of brown
"What? Fussing about a baby? A baby is
too small to fuss about."
"O-o-o-o ! It isn't. T
"No, sir. I fuss about my dolly, an' it's not
half so big as a baby."
G A D S B Y
"That's so. Girls do fuss about dolls. My
"How many dolls has your girls got?"
"Ha, ha! Not any, now. My girls all got
grown up and big."
During this calm, happy talk, a patrolman,
coming up, said: —
"Shall I stick around, Your Honor? Any
"I don't know, just now. Wait around
about an hour, and drop in again."
So His Honor, Mayor of Branton Hills, and
Childhood sat on that grassy lawn; a tiny tot mak-
ing daisy chains, grass rings, and thrilling at Gads-
by's story of how a boy, known as Jack, had to climb
a big, big tall stalk to kill an awfully ugly giant.
Finally Gadsby said : —
"I thought you had a baby playing with
"Huh, it isn't playing now. Did it fly
"Oho! No! A baby can't fly!"
"No. That's right. But how could a baby
go away from you without your knowing it?"
"It didn't. I did know it."
Now, many may think that His Honor would
G A D S B Y
thrill at this information; but Gadsby didn't. So,
"playing around" for a bit, His Honor finally
said : —
"I wish / had a baby to play with, right
"Can I? How?"
With a tiny hand on baby lips, our small
lady said: —
"Go look in that lilac arbor; but go soft! I
think it's snoozing."
And Gadsby, going to that arbor, got a
frightful shock; for it was Lillian, Nancy's baby!
Not having known of this "kidnapping" as his fami-
ly couldn't find him by phoning, it was a shock ; for
His Honor was thinking of that young woman col-
lapsing. So, upon that patrolman coming back, as
told, Gadsby said : —
"Go and call up your station, quickly! Say
that I want your Captain to notify my folks that
Lillian is all right."
"Good gosh, Your Honor ! ! Is this tot your
"Grandchild or no grandchild, you dash to
And so, again, John Gadsby, Champion of
G A D S B Y
Youth, had shown officialdom that a child's brain
and that of an adult vary as do a gigantic oak and
its tiny acorn.
[ 217 ]
Most of Gadsby's old
Organization of Youth was still in town, though,
as you know, grown up. So, on a Spring day, all
of its forty boys and as many girls got most mysti-
fying cards, saying : —
"Kindly go to Lilac Hill on May sixth, at
four o'clock. IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT!
IMPORTANT!!" That was all. Not a word to
show its origin. No handwriting. Just a small,
plain card in ordinary printing.
Not only that old Organization, but His
Honor, Lady Gadsby, Old Tom Young, Tom Don-
aldson, Nina Adams, Lady Standish and Old Lady
Flanagan got that odd card.
"Arrah ! Phwat's this, anny way?" sang out
that good old lady. "Is it court summons, a pic-
nic, or a land auction? By gorry, it looks phony!' 1
Old Tom Young, in his rocking chair, said:
"A card to go to Lilac Hill. It says 'im-
portant.' Ah ! This Youth of today ! I'll put up a
dollar that I can sniff a rat in this. But my girl is
all right, so I'll go."
And so it was, all around town. Nobody
could fathom it.
[ 218 ]
G A D S B Y
Lilac Hill was as charming a spot as any
that our big City Park could boast. Though known
as a hill, it was but a slight knoll with surroundings
of lilac shrubs, which, in May would always show
a riot of bloom ; this knoll sloping down to a pond,
with islands, boats and aquatic plants. Lilac Hill
had known many a picnic and similar outings; for
Branton Hills folks, living for six days amidst
bricks and asphalt, just had to go out on Sundays
to this dainty knoll, living for an hour or so
amongst its birds, blossoms and calm surroundings.
City traffic was far away, only a faint rumbling
coming to this natural sanctuary ; and many a mind,
and many a worn body had found a balm in its
But that mystifying card ! From whom was
it? What was it? Why was it? "Oh, hum! Why
rack brains by digging into it?" was Branton
Hills' popular thought. "But, — go and find out!"
That, also, was our Organization's thought as May
sixth was approaching.
"My gracious!" said Nancy. "It sounds
But calm, practical Kathlyn said: —
"Spooks don't hop around in daylight."
May sixth had just that warm and balmy
air that allows girls to put on flimsy, dainty things,
[ 219 ]
G A D S B Y
and youths to don sports outfits; and His Honor,
as that mystifying day was not far off, said: —
"This, I think, is a trick by a kid or two, to
show us old ducks that an 'incog' can hold out, right
up to its actual consummation. I don't know a thing
about what's going on ; but, by golly ! I'll show up ;
and if any fun is afloat, I'll join in, full blast."
But ! ! As our Organization boys and
girls, and Branton Hills folks got to Lilac Hill, not
a thing was found giving any indication that any-
thing out of ordinary was to occur ! Just that calm,
charming knoll, with its lilacs, oaks, and happy vista
out across Branton Hills' hill districts! What is
this, anyway? A hoax? But all sat down, talk-
ing in a big group, until, at just four o'clock, —
look! A stir, out back of that island boat landing!
What? On that pond? This card said Lilac Hill!
But I said that a stir was occurring in back of that
boat landing, with its small shack for storing oars
and such. If our big crowd was laughing and talk-
ing up to now, it quit! And quit mighty quickly,
too ! If you want to hold a crowd, just mystify it.
Old Lady Flanagan was starting to shout about
"this phony stuff," but Old Man Flanagan said: —
"Shut up! You ain't part of this show!"
Nancy was actually hopping up and down,
but Kathlyn stood calmly watching; for this studi-
[ 220 ]
G A D S B Y
ous girl, way up in an "ology" or two, knows that,
by slow, thoughtful watching, you can gain much,
as against working up a wild, panicky condition.
Lady Gadsby said again and again : "What is going
on ?" but Nina Adams said : "You ought to know
that today, anything can- 1 "
But look again!/ From in back of that boat
landing, a big fairy float is coming! Slowly, —
slowly — slowly; a cabin amidships, just dripping
with lilacs, as still and noncommittal as old Gib-
raltar. Slowly, on and on it is coming; finally stop-
ping right at that spot upon which our group is
standing; forty boys, forty girls, and a big mob,
all as still as a church. What is it, anyway? Is
anybody in it ? Not a sign of it. But wait ! Aha !
It has an occupant, for, coming out of that lilac
glory is Parson Brown!! Parson Brown?
What was Parson Brown in that cabin for? Aha!!
A lilac spray is moving; and, as our groups stand
stock still, look! Lucy Donaldson is coming out!
Oh ! What a vision of girlish joy and glory ! ! And
— and — and, ah ! That lilac spray is moving again !
Hulloa! Bill Gadsby is coming out!!
A Spring sun was slowly approaching its
horizonward droop, shooting rays of gold down on-
to our gasping crowd, as Parson Brown said : —
"William Gadsby, do you . . . ?"
t 221 ]
G A D S B Y
William, but shortly back from abroad, you
know, standing with grand, military rigidity, said'
"And Lucy Donaldson, do you . . .?"
It didn't last long. Just a word or two; a
burst of music of a famous march by John Smith,
Branton Hills' organist, in that cabin with a small
piano; just a But that crowd couldn't wait
for that ! With a whoop His Honor sprang into
that pond, wading swiftly to board that fairy craft;
and in an instant Nancy was following him, splash-
ing frantically along, and scrambling aboard to al-
most floor Bill with a gigantic hug as His Honor
shook Bill's hand, with a loving arm about Lucy.
Old Lady Flanagan was shouting wildly: —
"Whoops! Whoops! By gorra! This
young gang of today is a smart boonch !" and His
Honor said : —
"Ha, ha ! I didn't know a thing about this !
Bill's a smart chap!" And Old Tom Donaldson,
grabbing happy, laughing, blushing, palpitating
Lucy as soon as that young lady was on dry land,
said : —
"Say! You sly young chick! Why didn't
you notify your old Dad?"
"Why, Daddy! That would spoil all my
[ 222 ]
Gadsby, Clancy and
Dowd "just had" to, according to unanimous
opinion, go out to Lady Standish's suburban plot
of ground to visit "Big Four;" Gadsby, owing to
an inborn liking for all animals ; Clancy and Dowd
from fond association with this particular group.
It was a glorious spot; high, rolling land, with a
patch of cool, shady woods, and a grand vista
across hill and plain, with shining ponds and rich
farm lands. And did "Big Four" know Clancy and
Dowd? I'll say so! And soon, with much happy
whinnying and "acting up," with two big roans pok-
ing inquiring snouts in Clancy's hands, and two big
blacks snuggling Gadsby and Dowd, as happy a
group of Man and animals as you could wish for,
was soon accompanying Lady Standish around that
Anything that such animals could want was
at hand. A bright, sparkling brook was gabbling
and gurgling through a stony gully, or dropping,
with many brilliant rainbows, down a tiny fall.
"Sally," said Gadsby, "you do a grand work
in maintaining this spot. If Mankind, as a body,
would only think as you do, that an animal has a
[ 223 ]
G A D S B Y
brain, and knows good living conditions, you
wouldn't find so many poor, scraggly old Dobbins
plodding around our towns, dragging a cart far too
big; and with a man totally without sympathy on
And Lady Standish said: —
"I just can't think of anybody abusing an
animal ; nor of allowing it to stay around, sick, hurt
or hungry. I think that an animal is but a point
short of human; and, having a skin varying but
slightly from our own, will know as much pain from
a whipping as would a human child. A blow upon
any animal, if I am within sight, is almost as a
blow upon my own body. You would think that,
with that vast gap which Mankind is continually
placing back of him in his onward march in im-
proving this big world, Man would think, a bit, of
his pals of hoof, horn and claw. But I am glad to
say that, in this country, laws in many a community
admit that an animal has rights. Oh, how an ani-
mal that is hurt looks up at you, John ! An animal's
actions can inform you if it is in pain. It don't
hop and jump around as usual. No. You find a
sad, crouching, cringing, small bunch of fur or
hair, whining, and plainly asking you to aid it. It
isn't hard to find out what is wrong, John ; any man
or woman who would pass by such a sight, just
t 224 ] '
G A D S B Y
isn't worth knowing. I just can't withstand it!
Why, I think that not only animals, but plants can
know pain. I carry a drink to many a poor, thirsty
growing thing; or, if it is torn up I put it kindly
back, and fix its soil up as comfortably as I can.
Anything that is living, John, is worthy of Man's
[ 225 ]
Poor old Bill Simpkins !
Nothing in this world was worth anything; no-
body was right; all wrong, all wrong! Simpkins
had no kin; and, not marrying, was "just plodding
along," living in a small room, with no fun, no
constant company, no social goal to which to look
forward; and had, thus, grown into what boys call
"a big, old grouch." But it wasn't all Simpkins'
fault. A human mind was built for contact with
similar minds. It should, — in fact, — it must think
about what is going on around it ; for, if it is shut
up in a thick, dark, bony box of a skull, it will al-
ways stay in that condition known as "status quo ;"
and grow up, antagonistic to all surroundings. But
Simpkins didn't want to growl and grunt. It was
practically as annoying to him as to folks around
him. But, as soon as that shut-up, solitary mind
found anybody wanting it to do anything in con-
firmation of public opinion, — no! that mind would
contract, as a snail in its spiral armor — and balk.
Lady Gadsby and His Honor, in talking
about this, had thought of improving such a con-
dition; but Simpkins was not a man to whom you
could broach such a thought. It would only bring
[ 226 ]
G A D S B Y
forth an outburst of sarcasm about "trying* it on
your own brain, first." So Branton Hills' Council
always had so to word a ''motion" as to, in a way,
blind Simpkins as to its import. Many such a mo-
tion had a hard fight showing him its valuation as
a municipal law; such as our big Hall of Natural
History, our Zoo, and so on.
Now nothing can so light up such a mind
as a good laugh. Start a man laughing, good, long
and loud, and his mind's grimy windows will slowly
inch upward ; snappy, invigorating air will rush in,
and — lo! that old snarling, ugly grouch will vanish
as hoar-frost in a warm Spring thaw !
And so it got around, on a bright Spring
day, to Old Bill sitting on Gadsby's front porch;
outwardly calm, and smoking a good cigar (which
didn't blow up!), but, inwardly just full of snarls
and growls about Branton Hills' Youth.
"Silly half -grown young animals, found out
that two plus two is four, and thinking that all
things will fit, just that way!"
Now that small girl, "of about six," who had
had Nancy's baby out in City Park, was passing
Gadsby's mansion, and saw Old Bill. A kid of six
has, as you probably know, no formally laid-out
plan for its daily activity ; anything bobbing up will
attract. So, with this childish instability of
[ 227 ]
G A D S B Y
thought, this tiny miss ran up onto Gadsby's porch
and stood in front of Old Bill, looking up at him,
but saying not a word.
"Huh!" Bill just had to snort. "Looking
"XT * "
"What!! Oh, that is, you think 'not much,'
probably. What do you want, anyway?"
"I want to play."
"All right; run along and play."
"No; I want to play with you."
"Pooh!! That's silly. I'm an old man. An
old man can't play."
"Can, too. My Grandpa can."
"But I'm not your Grandpa, thank my lucky
stars. Run along now ; I'm thinking."
"So am I."
"You? Huh! A kid can't think."
"Ooo-o! / can!"
"About playing with you."
Now Simpkins saw that this was a condition
which wouldn't pass with scowling or growling,
but didn't know what to do about it. Play with a
kid? What? Councilman Simpkins pi
But into that shut-up mind, through a parti-
ally, — only partially, — rising window, was waft-
[ 228 ]
G A D S B Y
ing a back thought of May Day in City Park ; and
that happy, singing, marching ring of tots around
that ribbon-wound mast. Councilman Simpkins
was in that ring.
So this thought got to tramping round and
round many a musty corridor in his mind ; throwing
up a window, "busting in" a door, and shoving a
lot of dust and rubbish down a back stairway.
Round and round it ran, until, ( ! !) Old Bill, slowly
and surprisingly softly, said : —
"What do you want to play ?"
Oh ! Oh ! what a victory for that tot ! ! What
a victory for Youth!! And what a fall for grouchy,
snarling Maturity ! ! I think that Simpkins, right
at that instant, saw that bright sunlight coming in
through that rising window; rising by baby hands;
and from that "bust in" door. I think that Old
Bill cast off, in that instant, that hard, gloomy
coating of dissatisfaction which was gripping his
shut-up mind. And I think, — in fact, I know, —
that Old Bill Simpkins was now, — that is, was —
was — was, oh, just plain happy!
"What do you want to play ?"
"This is a lady, a-going to town."
My!! Don't you know how to play that?
All right; I'll show you. Now just stick out your
[ 229 ]
G A D S B Y
foot. That's it. Now I'll sit on it, so. Now yon
bump it up and down. Ha, ha! Ho, ho! That's
it! This is a lady, a-going to town, a-going to
town, a-going to town !" and as that tiny lady sang
that baby song gaily and happily, Old Bill was
actually laughing; and laughing uproariously, too!
As this sight was occurring, His Honor and
Lady Gadsby, looking out from a parlor window,
Gadsby said, happily: —
"A lady physician is working on Old Bill,"
causing Lady Gadsby to add : —
"And a mighty good doctor, too."
[ 230 ]
It was night again.
That small Salvation Army group was parading
and singing. A young girl would soon start a long
oration against drink. Now boys, gawking as boys
always do, saw a shadowy form of a man slink-
ing along from doorway to doorway, plainly watch-
ing this marching group, but also, plainly trying to
stay out of sight. A halt, a song or two, and Mary
Antor was soon walking towards Old Lady Flana-
gan's cabin. But!! In passing big, dark City
Park, a man, rushing wildly up, wrapping that frail
form in a cast-iron grip, planting kiss upon kiss
upon Mary's lips, finally unwound that grip and
stood stiffly in military saluting position. Mary,
naturally in a bad fright, took a short, anxious, in-
quiring look, and instantly, all that part of City
Park actually rang with a wild girlish cry : —
"Hulloa, kiddo! Just got in, half an hour
ago, on a small troop train; and, by luck, saw you
marching in that group. Wow!! But you do look
grand. 1 "
"And you look grand, too, Norman; but —
but — but — not drunk?"
[ 231 ]
G A D S B Y
"No, sis! Not for many a day now. Saw
too much of it in camp. Big, grand, corking good
chaps down and out from it. Days and days in
jail, military jail, you know, and finally finding a
'bad conduct' stamp on Company books. No, sir;
I'm off it, for good!"
On old Lady Flanagan's porch Mary sat way
past midnight with, no, not with Norman, only,
but with two khaki-clad boys; and it was miracu-
lous that that small, loving childish bosom could
hold so much joy! Old Lady Flanagan in night-
gown and cap, looking down a front stairway, (and
Old Man Flanagan, also in nightgown and cap, and
also looking down), said: —
"Arrah!! Go wan oop stairs, you snoopin'
"Who's a snoopin' varmint? Not you, of
"Go wan oop, I say! By golly! That
darlin' girl has found a mountain of gold wid
Norman an' "
"Who's that wid Norman? That guy's
around, nights, now, as — "
"Say, you!! Do you go oop? Or do I swat
[ 232 ]
Bill Gadsby, going
abroad, naturally wasn't on that ballot for Council-
man Antor's chair ; but this history shows that that
mouthy antagonist who had had so much to say
about "pink satin ribbons" and "vanilla sprays,"
didn't win. No. A first class man got that position ;
old Tom Young, Sarah's Dad, as good an old soul
as any in all Branton Hills. And was Sarah hap-
py! Oh, my! And was Sarah proud! Two "oh,
mys!" Tiny Nancy, loyal as always to Bill, said: —
"Bill was as good as in, for nobody, know-
ing my Bill would ballot against him; and Bill
would hold that honor now, but for 'Old Glory's'
That's right, Nancy darling, you stick up
for Bill; for, though Bill didn't know it until many
months, a citation "for outstanding and valorous
conduct in action" was soon to go through our Na-
tional Printing Plant ! For a "city fop" or an "out-
door part of a tailor shop" is not always a boob,
Gadsby's mansion was again brightly aglow
that night, that "World War flag" not hanging in
his window now. And so, on Labor Day night,
[ 233 ]
G A D S B Y
Lady Gadsby and His Honor, sitting in his parlor,
thought that a light footfall was sounding out on
his porch. As Gadsby got up to find out about it,
Julius, coming in with a young girl, stood looking,
grinningly, at Lady Gadsby ; who, jumping up, said,
happily : —
"Why! Mary Antor!!"
"No, Ma," said Julius. "This is not Mary
"Not Mary Antor? Why, Julius, I think I
know M "
"Not Mary Antor, Ma, but Mary Gadsby!"
"Oh! Oh! My darling girl!!" and half
crying and half laughing, Mary was snuggling in
Lady Gadsby's arms; and His Honor, coming in,
saying : —
"By golly! That young cuss, Cupid, is
mighty busy around this town ! Why, I can hardly
walk two blocks along Broadway, without a young
girl, who has 'grown up in a night,' stopping, and
saying: 'Mayor Gadsby, this is my husband.' But
I'll say that Cupid's markmanship has always
brought about happy matings. And, Mary, you
darling kid, your sad, dark shadows will gradually
pass ; and Lady Gadsby and I will try to bring you
loads and loads of comfort. But, say, you, Julius!
I didn't know that you and Mary "
[ 234 ]
G A D S B Y
"Ho, ho" said Mary, laughing. "Didn't you
know that Julius and Norman and I sat out nights
on old Lady Flanagan's porch?"
"Why, no ; how should I ? I don't go snoop-
ing around anybody's porch."
"Ha, ha, Dad," said Julius; "no snooping
would find that out. Mary and I had had this plan
so long ago that I didn't know a World War was
[ 235 ]
As A small boy, your
historian was told that "A king was in his counting
room, a-counting out his cash," or similar words,
which told, practically, of his taking account of
stock. So, also, Gadsby was on his thinking-porch,
a-thinking of his past. (A mighty good thing to
do, too; if anybody should ask you!)
"If," said His Honor, "you can't find any
fun during childhood, you naturally won't look for
it as you grow up to maturity. You will grow
'hard,' and look upon fun as foolish. Also, if you
don't furnish fun for a child, don't look for it to
grow up bright, happy and loving. So, always put
in a child's path an opportunity to watch, talk
about, and know, as many good things as you can."
Lady Gadsby, from a parlor window, said:
"Practicing for a stumping tour, or a polit-
"Ha, ha! No. Just thinking out loud."
So, as thinking cannot hurt anybody, His
Honor was soon going on: —
"Affairs which look small or absurd to a
full-grown man may loom up as big as a mountain
to a child; and you shouldn't allow a fact that you
[ 236 ]
G A D S B Y
saw a thing 'so much that I am sick of it,' to turn
you away from an inquiring child. You wasn't
sick of it, on that far-past day on which you first
saw it. I always look back, happily and proudly, to
taking a small girl to our City Florist's big glass
building; to a group at our Night Court; a group
finding out about dispatching our mail; and our
circus! Boy! That was fun! Our awarding
diplomas at City Hall ; tiny Marian at our airport's
inauguration ; our Manual Training School gradua-
tion. All that did a big lot toward showing Youth
that this big world is 'not half bad,' if adults will
but watch, aid, and coach. And I will not stand
anybody's snapping at a child! Particularly a tiny
tot. If you think that you must snap, snap at a
child so big as to snap back. I don't sanction 'talk-
ing back' to adults, but, ha, ha ! I did find a grand,
big wallop in Marian's April Fool cigar ! Woo !
Did Old Bill jump ! ! But that did no harm, and a
sad young mind found a way to 'match things up'
with an antagonist. Now, just stand a child up
against your body. How tall is it? Possibly only
up to your hip. Still, a man, — or an animal think-
ing that it is a man — will slap, whip, or viciously
yank an arm of so frail, so soft a tiny body ! That is
what / call a coward!! By golly! almost a crimi-
nal! If a tot is what you call naughty, (and no
t 237 ]
G A D S B Y
child voluntarily is,) why not lift that young body
up onto your lap, and talk — don't shout — about
what it just did? Shouting gains nothing with a
tot. Man can shout at Man, at dogs, and at farm
animals ; but a man who shouts at a child is, at that
instant, sinking in his own muck of bullyism; and
bullyism is a sin, if anything in this world is. Ah !
Youth! You glorious dawn of Mankind ! You
bright, happy, glowing morning Sun; not at full
brilliancy of noon, I know, but unavoidably on your
way! Youth! How I do thrill at taking your
warm, soft hand; walking with you; talking with
you ; but, most important of all, laughing with you !
That is Man's pathway to glory. A man who
drops blossoms in passing, will carry joy to folks
along his way; a man who drops crumbs will also
do a kindly act ; but a man who drops kind words to
a sobbing child will find his joy continuing for
many a day ; for blossoms will dry up ; crumbs may
blow away; but a kind word to a child may start a
blossom growing in that young mind, which will so
far surpass what an unkindly man might drop, as
an orchid will surpass a wisp of grass. Just stop
a bit and look back at your footprints along your
past pathway. Did you put many humps in that
soil which a small child might trip on? Did you
angrily slam a door, which might so jolt a high-
[ 238 ]
G A D S B Y
strung tot as to bring on nights and nights of in-
somnia? Did you so constantly snarl at it that it
don't want you around? In fact, did you put any-
thing in that back-path of yours which could bring
sorrow to a child? Or start its distrust of you, as
its rightful guardian? If so, go back right now,
man, and fix up such spots by kindly acts from now
on. Or, jump into a pond, and don't crawl out
again!! For nobody wants you around!"
Lady Gadsby, as this oration was wafting
off amongst lilac shrubs, and across soft, warm
lawns, had sat, also thinking; finally coming out on-
to that ivy-bound porch, and sitting down by His
Honor, saying: —
"That was just grand, John, but I was think-
ing along a path varying a bit from that. You
know that Man's brain is actually all of him. All
parts of his body, as you follow down from his
brain, act simply as aids to it. His nostrils bring
him air ; his mouth is for masticating his food ; his
hands and limbs furnish ability for manipulation
and locomotion; and his lungs, stomach and all
inward organs function only for that brain. If you
look at a crowd you say that you saw lots of folks :
but if you look at a man bathing in a pond; and if
that man sank until only that part from his brow
upward was in sight, you might say that you saw
[ 239 ]
G A D S B Y
nobody; only a man's scalp. But you actually saw
a man, for a man is only as big as that part still in
sight. Now a child's skull, naturally, is not so big
as a man's ; so its brain has no room for all that vast
mass of thoughts which adult brains contain. It is,
so to say, in a small room. But, as days and months
go by, that room will push its walls outward, and
that young brain gradually fill up all that additional
room. So, looking for calm, cool thinking in a
child is as silly as looking for big, juicy plums
amongst frail spring blossoms. Why, oh, why don't
folks think of that ? You know what foolish sound-
ing things Julius was always asking, as a child.
'How can just rubbing a match light it?' 'Why is
it dark at night?' 'Why can't a baby talk?' But,
you and I, John, didn't laugh at him. No, not for
an instant. And now look at our Julius and our
Kathlyn; both famous, just through all that asking;
and our aid. John, God could put Man into this
world, full-grown. But God don't do so; for God
knows that, without a tiny hand to hold, a tiny foot
to pat, tiny lips to kiss, and a tiny, warm, wrig-
gling body to hug, Man would know nothing but
Gadsby sat smoking for a bit, finally say-
"Darling, that pair of robins up in that big
[ 240 ]
G A D S B Y
oak with four young, and you and I in this big
building, also with four, know all about what you
just said ; and, and, — hmmm ! It's almost mid-
night." And His Honor's mansion was soon dark;
bathing in soft moonlight.
[ 241 ]
Practically all Brant-
on Hills was talking about Councilman Simpkins;
for Councilman Simpkins just didn't look natural;
and Councilman Simpkins didn't act natural. In
fact, Councilman Simpkins was crawling out of his
old cocoon; and, though an ugly, snarling dowdy
worm had lain for so long, shut up in that tight
mass of wrappings around his brain, now a gay,
smiling moth was coming out; for Councilman
Simpkins was "dolling up !"
If Bill Gadsby was known as a "tailor-
shop's outdoor part," Old Bill was not a part. No,
Old Bill was that tailor shop — outdoor, indoor, or
without a door. In fact, Councilman Simpkins now
had "it," such as our films talk about so much today.
But Simpkins' outfit was not flashy or
"loud." Suits of good cloth, hats of stylish form,
always a bright carnation "just south of his chin,"
boots always glossy, and a smart, springy walk,
had all Broadway gasping as this Apollo- vision
swung jauntily along. Nancy, happy, giggling
Nancy, was "all of a grin" about this magic trans-
formation; and, with that old, inborn instinct of
womanhood, told Lucy: —
[ 242 ]
G A D S B Y
"You just watch, and mark my word. A
woman is in this pudding! Old Bill just couldn't
boom out in such a way without having a goal in
sight ; and I'll put up a dollar on it."
And Lucy, also a woman, said smilingly: —
"And I'll put up a dollar and a half !"
But His Honor and Lady Gadsby, at such
talk would look skyward, cough, and say: —
"Possibly a woman; and a mighty young
woman, at that."
Now, if anything will "warm up" a public,
it is gossip; particularly if it is about mystifying
actions of a public man ; and this had soon grown to
a point at which a particularly curious man or wom-
an thought of going to Old Bill and boldly ask-
ing : "Who is it ?" But, as I said, what Councilman
Simpkins would say to such "butting in" was known
to all Branton Hills. No. Councilman Simpkins
could doll up and trot around all that that portly
Solon might wish ; but, so to say, a sign was always
hanging from his coat front, saying: —
"Hands off ! !"
* * * *
Nina Adams and Virginia sat on Gadsby's
porch with Nancy and Kathlyn; and Old Bill was
up as a topic. Virginia, constantly smiling and in-
wardly chuckling, hadn't much to say about our
[ 243 ]
G A D S B Y
frisky Councilman ; and Nancy and Kathlyn couldn't
fathom why. But Nina, not so backward, said :
"Pffft! If a man wants to throw old cloth-
ing away and buy stylish outfits, what affair is
it, but his own ? It isn't right so to pick out a man,
and turn him into a laughing stock of a city. Old
Bill isn't a bad sort; possibly born grouchy; but if
a grouchy man or woman, (and I know a bunch
of that class in this town!) can pull out of it, and
laugh, and find a bit of joy in living, / think it is an
occasion for congratulations, not booing."
"Oh," said Kathlyn, "I don't think anybody
is booing Councilman Simpkins. But you know
that any showing of such an innovation is apt to
start gossip. Just why, I don't know. It, though,
is a trait of Mankind only. Animals don't 'bloom'
out so abruptly. You can hunt through Biology,
Zoology or any similar study, and find but slow, —
awfully slow, — adaptations toward any form of
variation. Hurrying was not known until Man got
"My!" said Nancy, gasping, and not gig-
gling now, "I wish that / could know all that you
know, Kathy. As our slang puts it, 'I don't know
"But, you could," said Kathlyn, "if you
would only study. All through our young days,
[ 244 ]
G A D S B Y
you know, with you and Bill out at a card or danc-
ing party, you in flimsy frills, and Bill swishing
around in sartorial glory, / was upstairs, studying.
And so was Julius."
"That's right," said Nina. "I wish Virginia
"Oh, I am!" said Virginia, all aglow.
"You? Studying what?"
"Aviation ! Harold is going to show — "
"Now, Virginia, Harold is not.'" and Nina
Adams' foot was down! "It's not so bad for a man
to fly, but a girl — "
"But, Mama, lots of girls fly, nowadays."
"I know that, and I also know a girl who
won't! and, just as Lucy has always known that Old
Tom Young's 'no' was a no, just so had Nina
Adams brought up Virginia.
"But," said Kathlyn, "this sky-shooting
talk isn't finding out anything about Councilman
Simpkins;" and Virginia said: —
"Possibly Old Bill wants to 'fly high.' I
think I'll ask Harold about taking him up for a
This, bringing a happy laugh all around,
Nina said : —
"Now don't jolly poor Bill too much. I
G A D S B Y
don't know what, or who, got him to 'going social.' '
And Nancy, giggling, said: —
"I put up a dollar, with Lucy's dollar-fifty
that it's a woman."
"Oh, I don't know, now," said Nina. "A
man isn't always trotting around on a woman's
apron strings," and, as it was growing dark, Nina
and Virginia got up to go.
Passing down Gadsby's front walk, a soft
night wind brought back to that porch: —
"Now, Virginia, quit this ! You will stay on
solid ground. f
"Aw, Ma ! Harold says "
But a big bus, roaring by, cut it short.
* * * *
Just a month from this, His Honor, sitting
on his porch with his "Morning Post" ran across a
short bit, just two rows of print, which had him
calling "Hi !" which Lady Gadsby took as a signal
for a quick trip to that porch.
"All right, Your Honor! On duty! What's
Gadsby, folding his "Post" into a narrow-
column, and handing it to that waiting lady, said
nothing. As that good woman saw that paragraph,
Gadsby saw first a gasp, following that, a grin, and
finally : —
[ 246 ]
G A D S B Y
"Why! Of all things! So that's Nina—"
That row of print said, simply : —
"By Pastor Brown, on Saturday night, in
Pastor's study, Nina Adams and Councilman
"Why !" said Lady Gadsby, laughing, "Nina
sat on this porch only last month, talking about
Old Bill, but saying nothing about this ! I'm going
right around to hug that darling woman; for that
is what I call tact."
So, as Nina and our Lady sat talking, Nina
"You know that Bill and I, growing up from
kids in school, always got along grandly; no child-
hood spats; but, still it was no 'crush' such as
Youth falls into. As Bill got out of high school, I
still had two rooms to go through. You also know
that I wasn't a 'Miss' for long from graduation day.
But Irving Adams was lost in that awful 'Titanic*
calamity, and I brought up my baby in my widow-
hood. Bill was always sympathizing and patroniz-
ing, though all Branton Hills thought him a cast-
iron grouch. But a public man is not always stiff
and hard in his off hours; and Bill and I, slowly but
gradually finding many a happy hour could —
"All right, you grand, luscious thing!!" and
Lady Gadsby and Nina sat laughing on a couch,
[ 247 ]
G A D S B Y
as in old, old school days. "And," said Nina, hap-
pily; "poor Bill's upstairs, now, putting his things
around to suit him. Living for so long in a small
lodging all his things staid in a trunk. A lodging-
room always has various folks around, you know,
and a man don't lay his things out as in his own
room. So — "
"Nina," said Lady Gadsby; "do you know
what brought him out of his old shut-in way of
looking at things?"
"From just a word or two Bill drops, occa-
sionally, I think that a child is — "
And Lady Gadsby, said; "You know our
Good Book's saying about; 'And a tiny child
[ 248 ]
Six months from that
day upon which old Mars, God of War had angrily
thrown down his cannons, tanks, gas-bombs and so
on, fuming at Man's inability to "stand up to it,"
Gadsby's mansion was dark again. Not totally
dark; just his parlor lamp, and a light or two in
halls and on stairways. And so this history found
Nancy and Kathlyn out on that moon-lit porch;
Nancy sobbing, fighting it off, and sobbing again.
Tall, studious, loving Kathlyn, sitting fondly by
Nancy's tiny form, said; —
"Now, sis; I wouldn't cry so much, for I
don't think that conditions, just now, call for it."
"B-b-b-but I'd stop if I could, wouldn't I?"
and poor Nancy was sobbing again. "Now, wait!"
and Kathlyn, uncommonly cross, vigorously shook
Nancy's arm. "You can't gain a thing this way.
Mama is probably all right. Oh, is that you,
His Honor sat down by his two girls. Gadsby
was not looking good. Black rings around his
always laughing orbs; a hard cast to that jovial
mouth ; a gray hah - or two, cropping up amongst his
wavy brown. But Gadsby was not old. Oh, no;
[ 249 ]
far from it. Still, that stoop in walking; that odd,
limp slump in sitting ; that toning down in joviality,
had, for six months past, had all Branton Hills
sympathizing with its popular Mayor.
Days ; days ; days ! And, oh ! that tough part,
— nights, nights, nights! Nights of two young
chaps, in full clothing, only just napping on a parlor
couch. Nights of two girls nodding in chairs in a
dimly, — oh, so dimly a lit room.
It got around almost to Christmas, only a
fortnight to that happy day; but, — happy in Gads-
by's mansion ? Finally Frank took a hand : —
"Now, kid , do try to stop this crying ! You
know I'm not scolding you, darling, but, you just
can't go on, this way; and that's that!"
"I'm trying so hard, hubby!"
Now Nancy was of that good, sturdy old
Colonial stock of His Honor and Lady Gadsby; and
so, as Christmas was approaching, and many a
bunch of holly hung in Broadway's big windows,
and as many a Salvation Army Santa Claus stood
at its curbs, Nancy's constitution won out; but a
badly worn young lady was in and out of Gadsby s
mansion daily ; bringing baby Lillian to kiss Grand-
[ 250 ]
G A D S B Y
ma, and riding back with Frank at about six o'clock.
* * * *
Old Doctor Wilkins, coming - in on a cool,
sharp night, found His Honor, Nancy, Kathyn, Bill,
Julius, Lucy, Mary, Frank and John all in that big
"Now, you bunch, it's up to you. Lady
Gadsby will pull through all right," (Nancy rushing
wildly to kiss him!) "it hangs now upon good nurs-
ing; and I know you will furnish that. And I will
say without a wisp of a doubt, that a calm, happy
room; not too many around; and — and — hmmm!!
Julius, can't you hunt around in our woods that you
and Kathlyn know so thoroughly, and find a tall,
straight young fir; cut it down, rig it up with lights
and a lot of shiny stuff; stand it up in your Ma's
room, and "
"Tis a night, almost Christmas,
And all through that room
A warm joy is stirring;
No sign of a gloom.
And "Ma," sitting up,
G A D S B Y
In gay gown, and cap,
No, no ! Will not start
On a long wintry nap !
For, out on that lawn
A group of girls stand;
A group singing carols
With part of our Band.
And that moon, in full vigor,
Was lustrous; and lo!
Our Lady is singing!
Aha, now I know
That Nancy and Kathlyn
And Julius and Bill
And also His Honor,
Will sing with a will !
And Old Doctor Wilkins
Amidst it all stands;
Smiling and nodding,
And rubbing his hands ;
And, sliding out, slyly;
Calls back at that sight : —
"Happy Christmas to all ;
And to all a Good Night!"
Along about midnight a happy group sat
around Gadsby's parlor lamp, as Dr. Wilkins was
[ 252 ]
G A D S B Y
"Stopping a war; that is, stopping actual
military combat, is not stopping a war in all its fac-
tors. During continuous hard strain a human mind
can hold up; and it is truly amazing how much it
can stand. Day by day, with that war-strain of
worry pulling it down, it staunchly holds aloof, as a
mighty oak in facing a storm. But it has a limit ! !
With too much and too long strain, it will snap;
just as that mighty oak will fall, in a long fight.
Lady Gadsby will avoid such a snap though it is by
a narrow margin."
As this group sat in that holly-hung parlor,
with that big cloth sign in big gold capitals ; HAPPY
CHRISTMAS, across its back wall; with horns
tooting outdoors; with many a window around
town aglow with tiny, dancing tallow-dip lights;
with baby Lillian "all snuggling — so warm in a cot ;
as vision of sugar plums" — (and why shouldn't a
baby think of sugar plums on that night, almost
Christmas?) ; as, I say, this happy group sat around
Gadsby's lamp, Mars, that grim old war tyrant, was
far, far away. Upstairs, calmly snoozing on a big
downy pillow, Lady Gadsby was now rapidly com-
ing back again to that buxom, happy-go-lucky First
Lady of Branton Hills.
[ 253 ]
Christmas, gay and
happy in Gadsby's mansion, was soon far, far back.
A robin or two was hopping about on His Honor's
lawn, looking for a squirming lunch; Lady was
taking short walks with Nancy; Kathlyn having to
go back to work in our big hospital. Lilac, syringa,
narcissus, tulips, hyacinths burst out in a riot of
bloom; and a bright warm Sun brought joy to all.
And so this history found His Honor on his porch
with his "Post" as a young lad, coming up, said; —
"Good morning, sir. I'm soliciting funds for a big
stadium for Branton Hills, which will furnish an
opportunity for football, polo, "
"Whoa!" said Gadsby, putting down his
"Post" and looking critically at his young visitor.
"You look a bit familiar, boy. Oho! If is isn't kid
Banks; oh, pardon! — Allan Banks; son of Coun-
cilman Banks ! You young folks grow up so fast I
don't know half of you. Now what about this so-
liciting. Who is back of you ?"
"Branton Hills' Organization of Youth;
Part Two, sir."
"Branton Hills Org Ha, ha! Upon my
word! Who is starting this group?"
[ 254 ]
G A D S B Y
Mary, coming out from His Honor's parlor,
said : —
"Oh, I forgot to notify you of this. Norman
has got about fifty kids from Grammar School boys
and girls, anxious to follow in your Organizations^
Was Gadsby happy? Did Gadsby thrill?
Did that long-past, happy day float in glowing col-
ors through his mind? It did. And now that old,
hard-working bunch of kids, grown up, now, and
with kids of its own; that loyal bunch of young
sprouts was taking root ; was born again !
Oh, how Youth crawls up on you! How a
tiny girl "almost instantly" shoots up into a tall,
charming young woman! How a top-spinning,
ball-tossing, racing, shouting boy looms up into a
manly young chap in Military School uniform!
Gadsby was happy ; for, wasn't this a tonic for his
spinal column? So His Honor said; —
"Allan, I think Branton Hills will officially
aid this stadium plan. I'll put it up to Council."
But, Allan Banks, not Kid Banks now, was
just so old as to know a thing or two about Coun-
cil bills; and, out as a solicitor, naturally sought a
good showing on donations won, so said; —
"A Council donation will fit in grand, sir;
but how about grouchy old Bill Simpk ''
[ 255 ]
G A D S B Y
"Trot along, Allan."
"But how about this stadium? I'm doubting
Old B— "
"Trot along, Allan."
* * * *
What Mary had said was a fact. Norman
Antor had not only fought a military war; Nor-
man Antor had also fought an inward war. A war,
which fought him with gallon jugs, small phials,
spoons, mixing apparatus, and — a stumbling, mum-
bling stupor ! Norman had fought with about two
million lads in that military war; but now, with no
aid but a strain of good blood, starting way back of
his carousing Dad (but, as such traits may, skip-
ping a notch or two, and implanting in this young
lad just a grain of its old nobility of mind), was
fighting again ; and, just as any solitary young chap
amongst that two million loyally did his part, just
so was this tiny grain now doing its part ; fighting
valiantly in his brain. It was giving him torturing
thoughts in army night-camps, of a darling, loving
young girl , a part of his own family , growing up
"in a pool of liquor;" thoughts in night-camps of
Branton Hills' patrol-wagon trips to jail; and
Darn that thought of Virginia! Virginia drunk
[ 256 ]
G A D S B Y
by his own hand ! Ugh ! ! Why not chop that stink-
ing hand off? And, on coming back to Branton
Hills, watching that darling Mary in Salvation
Army uniform, tramping, talking, praying for just
such low-down "liquor hounds" as .
Oh! It was an awful fight! A long, brain-
racking onslaught against a villain shut in by
walls of iron ! But though Norman Antor's night-
camp fights with Norman Antor had "put a big
kick" in his wish to "lay off that stuff," just a final
blow, just an awful brain-crashing blast was still
missing, so that that big right hand might point sky-
ward, to clinch that vow. And that blast was waiting
for Norman! To anybody standing around, it
wasn't much of a blast; but it wasl It was a
mighty concussion of T.N.T., coming as Mary,
young, loving, praying Mary, said, as his arms
unwound from around that frail form: —
"Why, Norman! Not drunk f"
God!! What flashing, shooting, sizzling
sparks shot through his brain!! Up, out, in; all
kinds of ways ! ! What clashing bombs ! !
And, that first calm night on Old Lady Flan-
agan's porch ; that moonlit night of bliss, with soft,
cuddling, snuggling, laughing, crying darling
"I say," Norman was shouting, inwardly;
[ 257 ]
G A D S B Y
"that night of bliss was a night of bliss and don't
anybody try to say that it wasn't!"
For it was a night on which a young man's
Soul was back; back in its own Mind, now full of
God's incomparably grand purity !
Lady Gadsby was visiting Nina, sitting in
that big front parlor ; Virginia sitting calmly rock-
ing; (and, hmmm! That was about all Virginia
ought to do, just now!) A young High School girl,
coming in, said ; —
"Good morning! I'm soliciting for funds
for a stadium for "
"Marian!" sang out Virginia, "What's all
this? You, soliciting?"
"Why not?" said Marian, brightly. "Nor-
man Antor's Organization of Youth; Part Two, is
soli — "
"Norman Antor's what?" and Virginia
was all agog in an instant, as Marian Hopkins told
all about it; and, with childish flippancy, forgot
all about soliciting, saying: —
"I was told that Harold is giving flying in-
structions. Don't you want to fly? My! /do!"
"I did," said Virginia, softly ; "but, — not
[ 258 ]
G A D S B Y
now ;" and Marian was a bit too young to know why
Lady Gadsby was smiling at Nina !
As Nancy found out about this, on Lady
Gadsby's coming back to lunch, that "old Branton
Hills matron," as Gadsby found a lot of fun calling
"his baby girl," now-a-days, said, giggling: —
"No! Virginia ! You'll stay on solid ground!"
[ 259 ]
Lady Gadsby and His
Honor sat in Branton Hills' First Church, on a hot
July Sunday. Out-doors, twitting birds, lacy clouds,
and gay blossoms, told of happy hours in this long,
bright month. Pastor Brown, announcing a hymn,
said : —
"This is a charming hymn. Our choir always
sings it without company ; but today, I want all you
good folks to join in. Just pour forth your joy and
sing it, good and strongly."
That hymn had six stanzas; and Gadsby,
noting an actually grand bass singing just back of
him, thought of turning around, from curiosity ; and
as that fifth stanza was starting, said to Lady
Gadsby ; —
"Do you know who that is, singing that
grand bass part ?"
Lady Gadsby didn't; but Lady Gadsby was
a woman; and, from Noah's Ark to Branton Hills'
First Church, woman, as a branch of Mankind, was
curious. So a slow casual turning brought a dig in
His Honor's ribs: —
"It's Norman Antor !"
Pastor Brown, standing at that big church
[ 260 ]
G A D S B Y
door as folks, filing out would stop for a word or
two, said to Gadsby: —
"Young Antor is invariably in church, now-
a-days. I may add to my choir, and am thinking of
putting him in it. I'm so glad to find out about that
boy winning his fight. I always thought Norman
would turn out all right."
Pastor Brown was right; and two Branton
Hills girls, a Salvation Army lady, and a tiny tot of
six had won crowns of Glory, from throwing rays
of light into two badly stagnant Minds.
[ 261 ]
T H I R T Y-S I X MONTHS.
That's not so long a run in daily affairs, and this
Branton Hills history finds Thanksgiving Day dawn-
ing. In Branton Hill's locality it is not, customar-
ily, what you would call a cold day. Many a Thanks-
giving has had warm, balmy air, and without snow;
though, also, without all that vast army of tiny
chirping, singing, buzzing things on lawn or branch.
But contrast has its own valuation; for, through it,
common sights, vanishing annually, show up with a
happy joy, upon coming back. Ah ! That first faint
coloring of grass, in Spring! That baby bud, on
shrub or plant, shyly asking our loving South Wind
if it's all right to pop out, now. That sprouting of
big brown limbs on oak and birch ; that first "blush
of Spring" in orchards; that first furry, fuzzy,
cuddly spray of pussy willows! Spring and Fall;
two big points in your trip along your Pathway.
Fall with its rubbish from months of labor: corn-
stalks, brown, dry grass, old twigs lying around,
wilting plants; bright colorings blazing in distant
woodlands; chill winds crawling in through win-
dows, at night. And Spring! Pick-up, paint-up,
wash-up Spring ! ! So, as I said, Branton Hills got
[ 262 ]
G A D S B Y
around to Thanksgiving Day ; that day on which as
many of a family as possibly can should sit around
a common board; coming from afar, or from only
a door or two away.
Gadsby's dining-room was not big; it had
always sat but six in his family. But, on this
Thanksgiving Day, — hmmm! "Wait, now — uh-huh,
that's it. Just run that pair of sliding doors back,
put that parlor lamp upstairs; and that piano? Why
not roll it out into my front hall? I know it will
look odd, but you can't go through a Thanksgiving
'soup to nuts' standing up. Got to jam in chairs, any
old way !"
But who is all this mob that will turn His
Honor's dining-room into a thirty-foot hall? I'll
look around, as our happy, laughing, singing, clap-
ping group sits down to Gadsby's Thanksgiving
I find two "posts of honor;" (My gracious!
so far apart!) ; His Honor, with carving tools fill-
ing dish, dish, and dish.
"Atta boy ! Atta girl ! Pass up your chow-
dish! This bird has but two drum-sticks, but six
of his cousins wait, out in our cook-shop! Lots of
grub! What's that, Julius? A bit of dark? Want
At Post Two sits "Ma;" again in that good
[ 263 ]
G A D S B Y
old buxom condition, so familiar to all Branton
"Right this way, folks, for potato, squash,
onions, carrots and turnip ! !"
What a happy bunch! Following around
from Gadsby, sit Bill, Lucy and Addison. But
whoa ! Who's this Addison ? Oh, pardon ; I for-
got all about it. Lucy's baby; and his first Thanks-
giving. Hi, you! Tut-tut! Mustn't grab raisins!
Naughty, naughty! On Lucy's right sit Mary,
Julius and Norman ; following along, I find Nancy,
Frank and Baby Lillian, Kathlyn, John, Lady Stan-
dish, Priscilla and Hubby Arthur Rankin; Nina
Adams, — Oh ! A thousand pardons ! ! — Nina
Simpkins! and Old Bill. Say! You wouldn't
know Bill! Bright, happy, laughing, singing, and
tapping a cup with his spoon; spick-span suit, and
that now famous "Broadway carnation." Hulloa,
Bill; you old sport!! Glad to find you looking so
happy! What? Two whacks at that bird? Why
Bill ! ! On Bill's right sits Pastor Brown, old Doc-
tor Wilkins, Harold, Virginia, and Patricia. Oh,
pardon again! Patricia, Virgina's baby; just six
months old, today, and valiantly trying to swallow
a half-pound candy cow ! Following around I find
Old Tom Young, Sarah, and Paul. No, I don't find
a high-chair by Sarah; but Sarah sits just rocking,
[ 264 ]
G A D S B Y
rocking, rocking, now-a-days. Following on, again,
is Old Tom Donaldson, Clancy Dowd, and — Old
Lady Flanagan, with "this dom thing I calls hoos-
band!" And lastly, Marian and old Pat Ryan
from our railway station's trunk room.
So it was just laugh, talk, "stuff," and —
Oh, hum! Folks can't stay all night, you
know ; so, finally, groups and pairs, drifting out, all
had happy words for His Honor and Lady Gadsby ;
and His Honor, a word or two ; for you know Gads-
by can talk? So it was ; —
"Good night, Nina; good luck, Old Bill! Oh!
say, Bill ; will that cigar blow up? Good night, Vir-
ginia; and ta-ta Patricia; and Virginia, you mind
your Ma and stay down on solid ground! Aha,
Clancy! You old motor-pump fan! No; that's
wrong; animal-drawn pump! Good night, Pastor
Brown ; so glad you put Norman in your choir. And
now Old Tom and Sarah ! Tom, you look as young
as on that day on which you brought Sarah, just a
tiny, squalling, fist-waving bunch, to this porch to
ask about adoption ! And I know Sarah has always
had a kind, loving Dad. Paul, you young sprout!
As you turn into a daddy, soon now, you'll find that,
[ 265 ]
G A D S B Y
on marrying, a man and woman start actually liv-
ing. It's miraculous, Paul, that's just what it is."
And So it was; pairs and groups shaking
hands and laughing, until finally a big buxom
woman sang out : —
"Whoops!! It was a zuow of a grub-
lay-out ! It was thot ! But this dom thing I calls hoos-
band. Say! You grub-stuffin' varmint! Phwat's
that in your hat ? A droom-stick, is it ? Do you want
His Honor to think I don't cook nuthin' for you?
Goodnight, all ! I'm thot full I'm almost a-bustin' !"
As Lady Standish shook hands, that worthy
woman said: —
"John, what you did for Branton Hills
should go into our National Library at Washington,
in plain sight."
"Sally, Youth's part was paramount in
all that work. All I did was to boss ;" and Old Doc
Wilkins, coming out, nibbling a bunch of raisins,
said : —
"Uh-huh ; but a boss must know his job !"
"That's all right," said Gadsby; " but it was
young hands and young minds that did my work!
Don't disqualify Youth for it will fool you, if you
* * * *
t 266 ]
G A D S B Y
A glorious full moon sails across a sky with-
out a cloud. A crisp night air has folks turning up
coat collars and kids hopping up and down for
warmth. And that giant star, Sirius, winking slyly,
knows that soon, now, that light up in His Honor's
room window will go out. Fttt ! It is out ! So, as
Sirius and Luna hold an all-night vigil, I'll say a
soft "Good-night" to all our happy bunch, and to
John Gadsby — Youth's Champion.
Note : Not a word containing the letter "E
has appeared in this story of over 50,000 words.
[ 267 ]
?;•■'-.-■•. ' "-'!'..•